Farmer Abbott’s farm yard: the rise of Malcolm the telecommunications pigeon

Farmer Abbott decided to put Malcolm the pigeon in charge of telecommunications. It was a sensible thing to do. After all, he was a pigeon and had spent time as a racing pigeon and as a carrier pigeon.

You also have a great idea for a new telecommunication system: a combination of semaphore stations and carrier pigeons. The simple stations would waive their arms in the normal fashion and carrier pigeons would move between those who are out of line of sight.

It was hailed as a brilliant idea and cheap to boot. There were some dark mutterings about neighbouring farms installing the new electric telephone but they were generally shouted down. “Imagine how many pigeons will have work.” was the cry.

Many people could not understand why Farmer Abbott had appointed Malcolm. He was a notorious bum sniffer. Bum sniffing had a long tradition in the farmyard and was a national pastime.  It was the way that Farmer Abbott kept track of who supported him. But it was also a means to snuff out support for challenges to farm ownership. Over the years, animals had become adept at the game and being able to disguise their bum smell to hide their allegiances.

And so it was that when Malcolm was appointed a fresh round of covert bum sniffing began. Malcolm did not normally take part in the bum sniffing but left it to his friend and ally Mince  the poodle.  After months of denial and keeping his nose clean, Malcolm called a party bum sniffing meeting. Many of the farmyard animals had been keeping their backs to the wall but now was the night of reckoning.

In a decisive show of bottoms, Malcolm replaced Farm Abbott as head of the barnyard.

Ex-Farmer Abbott retired to a small cottage on the back blocks of the farm. He would move emerged occasionally, shouting at anyone who would listen. But the crowd is diminished and he resorted to is old hobby of smuggling budgies through a hole in the farm fence.


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