The Grosvenor house was a menagerie for merlins, stegosauruses, African elephants, swordfish, a Pegasus and even fighter jets on Wednesday afternoons. Two storeys and one bathroom of wings and fur and engines, it clung with naked supports onto a steep street in Auchenflower with a yard smothered in eggshells, hay bales and fallen shingles. Pushed flush against a derelict park, the back fence was streaked pink with graffiti though the rest of the house was weathered and mottled and boasted no colour except on the eastern wall, which was sanded and mopped with paint but never finished.
The menagerie had seen more animals than usual this past winter and its keeper, Berta Grosvenor, welcomed something new to the dinner table almost every night; a penguin, a polar bear, a snow leopard, an Arctic fox. Whatever it was, the animal never ate pumpkin, preferred bubble baths to regular and pretended to read the the