Sunday, 2 October 2011
What shall we do with the drunken sailor?
The link between butterflies, moths and drink is well-established and known to many a child who has enjoyed rum-and-treacling, especially the rum. Here is more proof: a distinctly woozy Red Admiral which is currently spending all day at a bar we have created in the garden by chance.
What happened was this: we've been cleaning out the cellar and in the process found a small stash of those strange liqueurs which you buy abroad at the end of a holiday in moments of madness. Some dated back to the 1980s and had gone even more peculiar in colour and viscosity than they were in the first place.
So we poured them away at last, the only alternative being to get very drunk in a not very nice way. Several days later, we both noticed this Red Admiral had become inseparable from a small patch of ground near our kitchen door.
Here it is; and because we fairly recently scattered some home-made compost - almost as disgusting as the ancient liqueurs - I assumed that it was enjoying that. Butterflies' and moths' debased diets when it comes to faecal matter or rotting anything are also well-known.
But then Penny remembered the drinkfest; and sure enough, here is the Red Admiral's tongue Hoovering up the residue of Myrtle Brandy or Watermelon Vodka or whatever it was. And the sugars, which will have been copious. Psychologically, the results have been to make it completely fearless and almost tame. Ah the delusions brought upon us all by drink.