Written by matwil
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Topics: Charles Darwin

Saturday, 1 August 2009

image for Missing chapters of Darwin's 'Origin of the Species' discovered
The hissing blink

The longly-suspected missing chapters of naturalist Charles Darwin's book 'The Origin of the Species' were today discovered at a car boot sale in the village of East Saxby, West Riding, by Mrs. Ermintrude Haggles, aged 83.

'I were just rummaging through the usual selection of Faberge eggs and Maharajah's rubies that you allus seem to get at these sales', she said, 'when suddenly I came across lots of sheets of paper 'eld together wi' a clothes peg. And you could've knocked me down wi' a ha'penny's worth of lickerish allsorts when I seen it were Mr. Darwin's famous lost chapters.'

'So I took 'em 'ome to me 'usband, and 'e said 'Aye, tis lost bits of 'is manuscript, missus, tha's done well', and after our tea of roast ptarmigan with sunflower seeds and aubergine cutlets, we sat down wi' our dandelion and burdock tea and scones and began to read pages, and 'ere's what they said:

'When, perchance, one takes a look at the Galapagos turkey, one notices how similar it is to the Chilean turkey, and in fact they is identical. The Argentinian turkey, il turqio malvinas nostros, is also very similar to that blasted turkey lurkey of Galapagos. And as for the Uruguayan bird, all I can say is that it's not even good enough to be served up at Christmas with roast snowdrops and cuttle fish.'

'Everywhere here the turkeys are all the bloomin' same, day after day, same old crap, same old hated same old. Gobble gobble, 'oh look, another turkey!', how I hate the sight of those big, fat useless birds! How I enjoy shooting them down with my blunderbuss, the evenings wouldn't be the same ashore without borrowing the first mate's Gattling machine gun and shredding a few hundred of the squawking, ridiculous animals!'

'Everywhere in the bloody Pacific you can't get away from them! And every one of the turkeys looks the same, acts the same, and makes the same dumb noises endlessly. How I wish I could find just one turkey with originality, for that way my theory of the origin of the species would be sound, as it stands right now it's about as sound as my parrot's wooden leg.'

'Well!', Mr. Haggles said, looking up from the excerpt, 'that's reet funny, ah must admit. Who'd've thought Darwin were such a a rapscallious old curmudgeon! And all the time we thought he were proper gentleman and scholar, an' stuff.'

'Aye', his wife agreed, 'mebbe this should just go on t'fire, we wouldn't want name of finest naturalist in 'istory to 'ave 'is name sullied by such rantings. 'Appen he were down wi' a touch of turtle 'flu when he wrote it.' ''Appen.'

'But let's take a gander at a few more pages fust.' 'OK', and they read on:

'At last we have reached Australie, and not before time. And imagine my joy as we landed, for there wasn't a single turkey to be seen anywhere! Strange looking monkeys throwing rocks along grass at sticks, yes, and other primates swimming back and forward across the bay for no apparent reason.'

'But thank goodness not any accursed turkeys! We made camp at a place we decided to call Woggawiggawaggawugga, after my grandmother's first name, the one that won the heavyweight boxing championship in 1722, and after our dinner I continued with this journal.'

'Maybe not only animal speciesiesies but also the human one have evolved from something else! Maybe even turkeys had their origin from a distant and highly individual background.'

'Could it be that the turkeys were simply pretending to all be the same dumb birds making the same dumb noises all the time, to hide their originality and intelligence? Could it be that turkeys exist for a far more interesting reason than just being used as target practice by writers and naturalists such as myself?'

'Then I laughed at such absurdities, and reached for my blunderbuss. 'Come on, Captain Birdseye, let us go and see if we can't find some turkeys on this desolate continent!', and soon we had found plenty and were lining them up and shooting them one after another, like toy fairground ducks, until we got bored with such an easy pasttime.'

'And so we settled in for the night, and I resolved to never mention the turkeys again to anyone, and to pretend that turkeys were nothing but highly intelligent and original animals, worthy of having their own place in this world.'

'So Mr. Darwin didn't want these pages made public, missus.' 'Nay, 'e didn't, it's onto the fire wi' 'em, ah reckon', and soon they were warming their hands against the blaze as Charles Darwin's famous missing chapters evolved into blackened carbon.

'Put radio on, will you, mother? A bit of music would be nice at this time of day', and soon the two were tapping their feet to the Syd Carlton Orchestra playing 'When Turkeys Begin The Turktrot, It's Time To Put The Rubbish Out'.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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