Donald MacInnes: All creatures great and small get the St Tiggywinkles treatment

 

Given the upmarket location of this newspaper's offices, the surrounding pavements tend to be populated by charity collectors in primary-coloured cagoules, adopting the "Hello! You look ace! And rich! Let's be direct debit friends!" stance as you approach. And while there are surely wiser things to do than to admit this in a national newspaper, I must confess I never stop and proffer my bank details.

I did it once, when I was just off the boat from Scotland, but that's another tale for another time.

Please understand, my response to these people has nothing to do with the causes they represent or with me being cheap... I just hate getting bothered in the street. Someone could hold a tenner out to me and I would probably let it fall to the ground as quickly as if they had offered me a photo of Gok Wan showering.

However, I may have found a charity for which I would be willing to be hassled: the St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital. Due to its Potteresque name, I assumed this place just dealt with squashed hedgehogs, but the other day a colleague put me right.

Mike lives quite near the hospital, which sits in the poverty-blighted slum that is rural Buckinghamshire. Recently, his daughters Elise and Lydie had invited some friends for a sleepover. Those parents among you will appreciate that by 6am on Sunday, the assembled cast of St Trinian's had probably only been asleep for half an hour. Nevertheless, they were suddenly wide awake and screaming, due to the fact the cat had dragged in a blackbird, which looked if not at Death's door, certainly at the end of Death's garden path.

It was carted off to St Tiggywinkles, where the staff no doubt dashed around, shouting: "Code black! 20cc of seeds, stat!"

Praise be to Attenborough, the bird was saved, so everybody was happy.

Actually, what made me happy was when Mike relayed what one nurse had told him. It seems there are few limits to the variety of forlorn fauna which punters drop off, from rescued muntjacks (it's a deer, dear), to hedgehogs (yay!), as well as assorted other critters. Someone even showed up once carrying a bumblebee with a broken wing. That's a BEE. With a broken wing.

I began wondering what other emergencies they might have had to deal with. A fly with a cough? A slug with measles? Actually, what it brought to mind most of all was the Monty Python song, Eric the Half-a-Bee, which you should Google and listen to immediately. Altogether now: "I love my hive employee, bisected accidentally, one summer afternoon by me..."

d.macinnes@independent.co.uk

Independent Partners; Do you need financial advice on your investments, pension or insurance? Book a free consultation with an independent Financial Adviser at VouchedFor.co.uk

Finacial products from our partners
Property search
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

    £16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior SEO Executive

    £24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...

    Recruitment Genius: Online Customer Service Administrator

    £16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...

    Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Executive

    £18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before