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Sport 11: Spring 1993

The Beast’s Feeding

The Beast’s Feeding

‘What do Beasts like to eat?’ we ask ourselves. We try lumps of coal, those small crawly things that live beneath rocks, and the feet of peasants. All are favourably received. ‘But what do Beasts like to eat best?’ we cry. ‘Let us consult books!’ This does not work, but we feel we are going about things in the right way. We conclude the Beast is not at all fussy. ‘He is blessed with a healthy appetite,’ laughs Rachel. After a few sporadic misadventures involving Donald’s other hand, the letterbox, and a good deal of the neighbouring Kingdom, we realise we must impose restraint. Feeding settles down to once a day, and twice during the colder months. Rachel takes a special interest in the Beast’s diet—and gradually compiles a list.

  • Things The Beast Likes To Eat Best
  • Spiders
  • Vegetables we don’t like
  • People we don’t like
  • Castle refuse
  • Castle effluent
  • Plutonium 239
  • Red Herrings
  • Jeremy’s Horrid Cough Medicine ©
  • Donald’s hand cream

The Beast also likes books. In between meals simply devours books. It seems they have their uses. But we make a rule: no snacks. The Beast does not like the rule, and nor, particularly, do we. So we make another rule: approved snacks OK. It is important to be able to compromise. We each have our own pet treat. Donald—warm milk; Jeremy—plasticine; Rachel—those small crucial devices that prevent pregnancy; while I share—good advice. The Beast sits patiently as I orate, before the scribe tosses the full parchment into his waiting jaws.

Sometimes we all go in on an accident. The Beast loves accidents—the look of shock and surprise, the race against time, the anxious plagiarised smiles: the whole drama of it all. Simply laps them up.