The Boss wanted to put on an Animal Corner as part of our Country Fair.
"I've got this cockerel," said McColleague.
"Great, bring it!"
"It's not very big," she confided as the date grew nearer. "It's only a bantam. I'm worried that if Animal Corner is relying on it as the main attraction it could be disappointing."
"Trust me, any disappointment in this event won't be solely down to your cockerel."
Things weren't looking promising at this stage. Animal Corner currently consisted of McColleague's cockerel, some ducks, a few rabbits and a couple of sheep. The rest of the Fair was also remaining at the distinctly low key stage, with most of the exhibitors we wanted dropping out and leaving us with a couple of vintage tractors to display, a gazebo from the Local History Society and a trestle table with some pots of jam on it.
McColleague and I marked out the exhibition area with our finest quality orange baling twine and some pointy sticks. "It's not exactly the Three Counties Show, is it?"
"It'll be fine."
And, against all expectations, it was fine.
The day of the event dawned sunny and dry and the public turned up in their droves to experience the free and simple rustic charms of the Country Fair we had so kindly laid on for them.
Who could resist the lure of the balloons on sticks, an irresistible gateway to Countryside pleasures?
As for McColleague's cockerel, it never did make an appearance in Animal Corner.
"I couldn't catch the cockerel this morning," she confessed.
I was unable to mask my disappointment. "You've let the team down, you've let the event down, and - most importantly of all -"
" - I've let myself down. I know. I brought three chickens and some ducks instead."
"Well, that's all right then."
"That's quite a display," I nodded approvingly at the chicken wire and timber construction, resplendent with Union Jacks. "The flags just set it off nicely. And the child's paddling pool is a nice touch."
From Animal Corner we could see all the rest of the Fair. The wardens had an enclosure of their own, in which they showcased their talents. I must say that I have often wanted to know more and it is good to know that the wardens are open to questions and won't savage my ankles.