Didn't see the joke or French connection
SERENA is always playing jokes on me and this week I fell for one. I arrived at work early one morning to find a note on one of the cages.
It read: "Blanc oiseau, blown off-course, needs to be returned to grid reference 247 859, ask Stuart. Not sure what it eats so please look it up. Be warned it is very jumpy."
Looking into the cage I saw a very pretty bird, no bigger than a blackbird. Serena came over telling me the story of how it came to us and asking if I had looked it up yet, so I started to look in The British Bird Book.
Serena told me not to be silly as it wasn't British. I said it sounded very French and questioned whether it should be returned to France. Serena left rather abruptly after I said that. It wasn't until a few hours later, when I had a few spare minutes, that I decided to look up this bird on the internet.
After typing in the name a few times the only thing coming up was the name of a French plane. I marched over to Serena's house saying that there was no such thing as a 'blanc oiseau', and that she must have spelled it wrong.
Whereupon she burst out laughing and said: "I love you Tori." I had fallen for the joke – 'blanc oiseau' simply means white bird. And this little guy was just a white Japanese quail.
I had my suspicions when I first saw the bird that it could just be a quail, and that they had got over excited and thought it was some exotic bird.
Serena wasn't alone in thinking up this joke – Stuart and Paul were in on it too!