The Happy Harpy.
I was bringing the rubbish down to the bin this morning, dressed fetchingly in grey jammies and a black pashmina when disaster struck. I was half was to the bin when the bag split spilling countless coffee kernels and plum stones and other assorted crap all over the bottom stops. This forced me to go all the way back up stairs for a dust pan and brush. As I began the easy but irritating job of cleaning the crap up I was accosted by the Harpy.
Normally The Harpy and I do very well avoiding each other and grunting the odd greeting, pretending not to see each other on the rare occasion we meet in the street. I would say we flourish this way. But today I sensed it wanted something as it hovered around.
'Good morning.' I eventually said when she cleared her throat in a stage manner for the second time.
'Oh good morning!' said she, falsetto surprised, as though I had just materialized in front of her.
'Those bags must be made of the thinnest plastic.'
'Yes.' says she, twitching her way closer. 'Em, it is true what I'm hearing?'
I straighten up. 'What?'
'You're selling up?'
And now I see it, she's beaming at me, her eyes are shiny with glee and hope.
'Nope, I'm only renting it out.'
'But you ARE moving?'
'Yes, when the new house is ready.'
She contains a whoop and a twirl, a clap and a leap. Somehow she does not rip open her shirt, dance wildly and begin to slaughter chickens before my very eyes.
'Well, I'd better let you get back to it.' She says, gleaming, beamingly, bleamingly. She turns and -for an ould one -makes a gallant effort of taking the steps three at a time.
'I'm thinking of renting it to students!' I yell up the stairs after her.
But she is gone. I have made the Harpy happy.
Can this day get any worse?