North Devon Journal Herald Report (Allegedly)
Wednesday December 1st 2010 :
Ostrich-Bother in Busy Barum
There have been several sightings of ostriches, (of all creatures!!!), this morning, by Barum’s High Street shoppers. Not since Michael Hammett’s escaped polecats in the late 1920’s, has there been such a stir caused in this busy shopping centre of North Devon. Those pesky polecats caused a stampede of Devon-Red heffers who spewed out of the very busy Pannier Market as a result!
According to local shopkeeper Barbara Mackie, the ostriches seemed to be particularly interested in the Habberdashery shops and the bakeries.
This was also borne out by reports from queuing customers at the ‘Three Cooks’ bakery in the High street, suggesting that the Ostriches were queuing patiently with the good residents of Barnstaple, in a quiet and dignified way. However one local man described them as a “nuisance” pecking at the danish pastries and sausage rolls, while still two or three people back from the front of the queue.
A North Devon District Council spokesman has issued a statement saying that in his opinion, the Barnstaple High Street Winter Sales were the primary cause of this bazarre incident today…. Sales prices were lower in percentage than any previous recorded year and this had attracted unusual interest from outside the town….in this case from the scrublands north of the Sahara desert in Africa. (The Ostriches are thought to have come directly from that region of the world, via a cargo ship delivering textiles made by the artisans of that area.)
In the past Ostriches have previously confined their intercontinental shopping excursions to the Devon towns and cities of Exeter, Torrrington, Bideford and, bazarrely, Newton Abbott, so today’s mayhem was particularly startling.