My Family and Other Animals
When the unconventional Durrell family can no longer endure the damp, gray English climate, they do what any sensible family would do: sell their house and relocate to the sunny Greek isle of Corfu. My Family and Other Animals was intended to embrace the natural history of the island but ended up as a delightful account of Durrell’s family’s experiences, from the many eccentric hangers-on to the ceaseless procession of puppies, toads, scorpions, geckoes, ladybugs, glowworms, octopuses, bats, and butterflies into their home.
control; it's attacking me.' 'Just stand still. He won't hurt you,' advised Leslie. 'It's all very well for you; you're behind me. Gerry, catch that bird at once, before it does me irreparable damage.' 'Don't shout so, dear; you'll frighten it.' 'I like that I A thing like a Roc flapping about on the floor attacking everyone, and you tell me not to frighten it.' I managed to creep up behind Alecko and grab him; then, amid his deafening protests, I removed the handkerchief from his
Athens and had been greatly ... er ... impressed by the new fire-fighting equipment there. He felt it was high time that Corfu got rid of its horse-drawn fire engine and should obtain a new one. .. um ... preferably a nice, shiny red one. There were several other improvements he had thought of as well. He came back here alight with... um . . . with enthusiasm. The first thing he did was to cut a round hole in the ceiling of the fire station, so that the firemen could slide down a pole in the
of bees and an occasional splutter of birds among the leaves. The house and land were gently, sadly decaying, lying forgotten on the hillside overlooking the shining sea and the dark, eroded hills of Albania. It was as though villa and landscape were half asleep, lying there drugged in the spring sunshine, giving themselves up to the moss, the ferns, and the crowds of tiny toadstools. It was Spiro, of course, who had found the place, and who organized our move with the minimum of fuss and the
mornings passed very pleasantly for all concerned. Occasionally, in the early days, Peter suffered from sudden spasms of conscience, my epic would be relegated to a drawer, and we would pore over mathematical problems. But as the summer days grew longer, and Margo's interest in gardening became more sustained, these irritating periods became less frequent. After the unfortunate affair of the scorpion, the family had given me a large room on the first floor in which to house my beasts, in the
famous fight with the French Champion Wrestler. Kralefsky was not at all pleased to be reminded of this exploit, it appeared. He turned pale, and shushed me hurriedly. 'One does not boast in public about such things,' he whispered hoarsely. I was quite willing to respect his modesty, providing he gave me a wrestling lesson. I pointed out that all I wanted was to be shown a few of the more simple tricks. 'Well,' said Kralefsky, licking his lips, 'I suppose I can show you a few of the