Chicken does not like to be ignored. She’ll pull insistently at the legs of my jeans as I cook or iron. She’ll try to knock the book from my hand if I don’t pay her attention, pecking at my sleeve or elbow to invite me to talk. Often she’ll burst, like the alien in Alien, through my newspaper, leaping on to my knee as I sit trying peaceably to read.
Esther Woolfson - Corvus: A Life With Birds
The upshot of it was, that Rosanna Spearman had been a thief, and not being of the sort that get up Companies in the City, and rob from thousands, instead of only robbing from one, the law laid hold of her, and the prison and the reformatory followed the lead of the law.
Collins having a dig at bankers. I love it.
"A rook, Corvus frugilegus, named by Linnaeus in his great work Systema Naturae, a name meaning "food-gathering". (I had hoped it meant "frugal" because I enjoyed the idea of her being part of the tradition of rural Scottish frugality, but apparently it does not.) I say "her" but there was no method we knew of to identify her sex. We designated her female arbitrarily, discovering only last spring, when for the first time at the age of sixteen she laid two eggs, that we were correct.
We named her, a choice probably now too prosaic, too frivolous for the dignity she's attained. It was derived from a piece in the edition of the New Yorker I was reading at the time, mention of a drag artist called, I think, Madame Chickeboumskaya. Thus, she is Chicken."
Esther Woolfson - Corvus: A Life with Birds
He sat down by his table and began to think things out.
He told himself that he was not drunk at all, but that he had taken an unusual quantity of whisky, which seemed to produce much the same effect as intoxication. Allowing for that, he was conscious that he was extremely angry about something, and had a firm idea that the Major was very angry too.
“But woz’it all been about?” he vainly asked himself.
“Woz’it all been about?”
E.F. Benson - Miss Mapp (Lucia Book 2)