Master James O’Dowd had received a memo from the Ministry of the Unique to attend a meeting at 9.07am the following morning at their office in 37.5A Sourgrapes Lane.
It was signed by Alfred Hawers, Esquire, Minister of the Unique.
As James and UNIQUE MARY made their way toward UNIQUE HARRY James had asked if she’d noticed the secretary.
When she said no James explained to her what he saw. The mother-of-pearl skin and the forked tongue. UNIQUE MARY giggled as she listened to him and then said the secretary was a Lizard, but most of the time only people like James saw her for what she was. Mary pointed out that she would have been embarrassed to know James knew about her, so next time he went there, it would be best if he not stare at her.
As they wandered along the never-ending corridor, James noticed a NUMBER or two scurrying between doorways and always giving way to them as they passed by.
At last they came to a door marked: UNIQUE HARRY Trainer Extraordinaire.
As they entered the door, James heard the unmistakeable sound of a whip being cracked and voice shouting: “Get in behind, get in there.” followed by another resounding crack.
Oh my thought James what sort of training is this?
At the far end of the room was a tall, thin man, dressed like a cowboy and holding a large leather whip in his hand. He gave it another crack as James followed UNIQUE MARY across the room.
UNIQUE HARRY looked up and saw his two visitors and put the whip down.
“Miniature Mouse Sheep,” he explained, “the fleece is worth a mint, and we just acquired some from the north of Scotland. I’m trying to get them organised, but they’re like herding cats,” he went on, looking down at a tiny fenced area in which a tiny mob of what appeared to be very frightened mice, crowded into one corner.
James and UNIQUE MARY stared down at the tiny creatures, and James wondered if he was the only one seeing the mice.
“No I see them too,” said UNIQUE MARY, “quite unique aren’t they.”
“So you read people’s thoughts,” said James to UNIQUE MARY.
“Yes you guessed right,” she said, “not as much fun as you might think especially when they are unpleasant thoughts about yourself. Have to bite my lip from time to time.”
James smiled thinking it would and probably could get rather awkward.
“Now,” said UNIQUE HARRY, “what is it I am to do with you young man?”
“Mr Hawers said you were to be my trainer,” answered James
“Did he now,” exclaimed UNIQUE HARRY, “well let’s see what we can do about that.”
With that UNIQUE HARRY took a sheet of paper from out of his sleeve and read out loud: “James O’Dowd can see what others can’t”. Goodness we’ve a few of you through here over the years. Tricky lot you can be, sometimes I get lost in trying to see what you see. So let’s see, look at the Miniature Mouse Sheep in the pen there and tell me what you see.”
James started down at the tiny pen with the tiny mice.
“There are ten mice, and they are all frightened. One is looking up at me, I think it’s pleading. Oh yes, its saying can you stop cracking the whip it’s driving them crazy. Oh, and you are welcome to our fleece if you feed us mature cheddar cheese.”
“Really? You could tell that?” queried UNIQUE HARRY.
“Yes, they speak quite clearly considering they are Scottish,” said James thinking of his Great Uncle Joe who had come to visit one time from Glasgow and James had barely understood a word he said.
“Remarkable,” said UNIQUE HARRY, “I think there’s more to this boy than we realised.
Part 5 can be found here: https://summerstommy.com/2019/01/13/the-ministry-of-the-unique-part-5/