There is great disparity in the fiendishness of farmyard fiends, and some diabolists have argued that Beelzebub treated the whole matter with an uncharacteristic lack of diabolic concentration. For every farmyard that is stricken by an energetic fiend, there are many more that can pass for years, even decades, in untroubled bucolic peace. But of course it is the former that gain attention. Who can forget the ruination visited upon Scroonhoonpooge Farmyard in the 1930s, all those crop failures, diseases, fires, murders, contaminations and inexplicable barn collapses, which ceased only when a marauding night-time squirrel was captured in a net by Father Dermot Boggis and subjected to the full rigour of his holy wrath? It took six months for the exorcist to expel every last vestige of fiendishness from the squirrel, leaving the poor bushy-tailed mammal thin and shrivelled and exhausted and close to death. And yet, as it was slowly revived by the coddling of Old Ma Purgative at her verdant squirrel sanctuary, so too did the farmyard flourish anew, with majestic fields of golden wheat, gleaming new buckets replacing the old rusty pails, and happy, happy pigs.
- Fiends Of The Farmyard
- The Big Metal Fence
- A Few Rules to be Observed in Cooking for Invalids, from the Book of Household Management by Isabella Beeton; 1861