(1939-03-26) Birds of a Feather
Details for Birds of a Feather
Summary: Boudica, Kaleb and Shelley all run into each other in the Magical Menagerie with various birds. Maple wants a cat.
Date: 26/3/1939
Location: Magical Menagerie, Diagon Alley

It is a spring night. The weather is cool and fair.

The Magical Menagerie is of the larger shops in Diagon Alley but it still manages to be very cramped and noisy with every inch of wall and most of the floor space covered by cages of varying sizes. It sells all kinds of animals - poisonous orange snails, a giant jewel-encrusted tortoise, sleek rats of all colors that are very intelligent. The store also sells a vast array of owls, ravens, puffskiens, and cats of every colour. A cage set in a place of honor at the middle of the store a big, fluffy white rabbit will transform into a black silk top hat for people it likes then transform back and look at them expectantly as if waiting for a treat.

"No!" A big man with a mustache, and a very obviously non-British accent, says to a Canadian Goose at his side, who has just looked up at him and honked expectantly. "No. You are not getting a cat as a pet. I know I don't speak goose, but I know that's what you're trying to say. You've been eyeing the cats since we got here!" Kaleb, the Canadian, shakes his head at his goose. "Besides, I imagine you've got enough fun with the smaller animals at the farm." Although his tone with the goose is firm, he seems more amused, overall, than anything.

A much smaller woman is also among wizard and geese in the Magical Menagerie. Standing almost a foot shorter than the mustachioed man, Boudica can never pass the Magical Menagerie without stopping in. Obviously bemused by the goose as well as the conversation he is having with his owner, the witch moves closer. "Maybe he's eyeing the cats because he doesn't want one," she can't help but interject.

Looking down on the woman, Kaleb chuckles. "Maybe. Though he seems to enjoy chasing other animals and generally trying to control where they go." He raises an eyebrow as he looks down at the goose. "But, how about this, Maple. Sounds like you almost have a defender here. I bet she'd let you have a cat!" Maple, the goose, merely lets out two honks and looks between both of them.
"He's a mischievous one. I never quite know what to expect from him." He grins. "But he keeps me on my toes. And he a good alarm clock…if I want to wake up in the middle of the night while camping in the middle of the Canadian prairies." He shakes his head, laughing. "I'm Kaleb Camp, by the by." He reaches out a hand in introduction.

"A goose herder! Now that's a sight. I bet a goose could actually herd cats. I'm tempted to agree with Maple just to see it." Boudica takes Kaleb's hand warmly. "Boudica Burke. I can't say that I've ever camped in the middle of the Canadian prairies, but if I did, maybe I'd want a goose to wake me up in the middle of the night." She smiles at Maple, obviously a woman who takes animals into account as well as people. "A pleasure to meet you too, Maple. You're just looking out for Mr. Camp, aren't you?" Back to Kaleb, she smiles. "He's a beauty. I've never seen a Canadian goose as a pet. Or a Canadian goose with a wizard pet, if you like."

"Oh goodness. I said Camp didn't I?" Kaleb laughs at himself. "Hoo, goodness." He taps his forehead. "You think of camping, and that's all you'll say. I should've said Gamp, with a 'gee' instead of a 'cee'. Silly me!" He chuckles again. "But yes, it's a pleasure to meet your, Miss Burke." He offers. Maple honks and lets out a ruffle of his wings. "And Maple is happy to meet you as well. Most people, when he's with me, ignore him. So I'm sure he's happy to be getting a bit more attention." He says with a warm smile. "I must say, Maple's a good herder. And he's an excellent friend, at times, to have around." He scratches his nose slightly. "Sometimes I do wonder who the pet in this duo is, really. More often than not, it seems he thinks he's in command."

Easily, Boudica laughs with Kaleb. "Then, a pleasure to meet you, Mister Gamp." She makes sure to pronounce the 'g' properly. The laugh returns at the honking and ruffled wings. "I'm a bit prejudiced. I work with animals, so I always enjoy meeting them." As for the pets, she nods. "I have far too many of my own. But, I can never resist a trip into this store. I mean, look at that sweet face." The sweet face in question is a tabby cat that is pressing her face against the glass, looking at Maple with quite a bit of interest. Whether it is because she's never seen a goose before or is hoping to eat said goose can not be determined at this time. "I often think they are the ones who are in charge of me." With a wry smile, she adds, "Maple seems a capable young goose. I'm sure he has you quite under control."

"Well, we've got something in common then, Miss Burke. I work with animals as well! I've always loved working with them. It is certainly a passion of mine. It has been since I was a child." He glances around and nods. "I always enjoy coming to a place that has animals. It makes me feel at home." He grins. "I've had Maple since he was a gosling. Found alone and not in good health. I took to nursing him back to strength with the thought of sending him back to the wild. However, he just sort of…stuck with me." Maple, in the mean time, is staring back at the cat, giving it a really goose-eye.

Boudica perks up when Kaleb mentions that he works with animals. "Me too! Well, since Hogwarts. I took Care of Magical Creatures and never looked back. Before that, I thought I wanted to be an Auror like my dad. Are you a vet?" As the story of Maple is told, she smiles at the goose and reaches a hand out for the goose to be acquainted with it, much like one would do with a dog. "Part of the flock, then. I can't say I've raised a creature from infancy - that's quite a feat. I mostly rescue older animals and then don't have the heart to give them away."

"My mother worked with magical creatures, so I had seen before going to school, back in Canada. But when I was old enough, I took Care of Magical Creatures as well." Kaleb explains. "I don't work exclusively as a veterinarian. But I am capable of taking care of them in that capacity." He nods. Maple, at the offering of the hand, eyes at it. He nips it lightly, nothing to hurt it, just a little tickle. "Maple! How many time have I told you? That just isn't a normal greeting!" A chuckle emits from the man.
"I'm sorry about that. That's left over from when he was younger, when I gave him treats to coax him into coming toward me, to prove I was safe and only wanted to feed him." Kaleb says, as a way of explaining. "Older animals can be bother easier as well as more difficult to care for at times. The young ones often need constant, round the clock, watching in order to help them back to health. They often don't have strength that many adults have."

Kaleb and Boudica are by the cat cages in the cramped Magical Menagerie. Boudica is crouched by Maple - the Canadian goose - while she and the taller wizard talk. When the bird nips her, she doesn't seem phased, nor does she jerk her hand back. Instead, she remains steady and smiles. "It's fine. I understand. Young birds are very difficult to take care of. They have to be fed almost every two hours or so. That was certainly an undertaking. He must be very grateful, right Maple? I often deal with young owls who were given to First Years and who don't exactly know the proper way to care for their pets." Standing, she grins. "He's quite the sweetheart."

Stepping through the door is the auror-consultant, a strange looking owl in browns with very exagerated 'eyebrows' of white feathers that form a dramatic V shape on the creature's face. "Alright, Vee. We'll see if they have more of those damned beetles you like. I swear - if I knew you were this picky…" she's chastizing her owl as she enters, though in a good-natured voice.

"It was the least I could do for the little guy. I couldn't very well have just left him, after all! And I've made a good friend, as well." Kaleb says in a quite serious tone. The most serious tone he's had this entire conversation, in fact. He smiles, though, after a few seconds. "It's quite easy to grow attached to the creatures you take care of, though. I can certainly understand. It's almost as if they become part of the family."

"Because they are." Boudica doesn't seem to think the seriousness nor the attachment Kaleb has for his goose is at all strange. "Yes, I think you've both made good friends." As the door opens and another customer enters, the vet glances backward at the newcomer and grins. Someone else who talks to their animals! She'll fit right in. "Oo, look, a crested owl," she asides to Kaleb, as she knows the other man would be interested.

Shelley looks mildly surprised to have someone recognize her owl - or at least, his species - though she imagines if she'd run into someone who would know, it'd be here. "This is Vee," she introduces the owl simply. "He's been cross with me because I had the audacity to 'let' him eat the entire beetle colony. I'm clearly going to have magically seal it off this time, to keep the little glutton out."

"We certainly have made good friends." Kaleb agrees, before turning to look in the direction of the entrance as well. "Ah yes. Interesting owls, those." He smiles. He offers a little bow of the head toward Shelley. "Well, certainly it can't be his fault. It's never the bird's fault!" He laughs a little, though takes a sharp breath in when Maple nips one of his fingers quite hard. "I was only joking, Maple. Be nice!"

With a grin, Boudica takes a slow step forward to eagerly study Vee. "Hello Vee!" Then, she blinks and smiles at Shelley, realizing she should probably introduce herself to the witch before the owl. "I'm Boudica Burke. That is Kaleb Gamp," she gestures behind her toward the goose owner, laughing at nip by Maple when he thought his honor was scorned. "We were just talking about birds. And Vee is a lovely subject. How does he fair in the weather here? If I may ask, of course."

"He loathes the winter," Shelley confides. "He spends most of his time inside my place, near the fireplace - up on his perch or on the back of the couch. He only goes outside for brief hunts, or to deliver messages - and insists on going in to warm up as soon as he gets where he's going, before he'll come home." She doesn't really seem to blame him, though. In fact, she gives him an obviously fond stroke along his feathers. "It's not so bad once it warms up, though. He spends most of the summer out and about."

"Well, I imagine most of us loathe winter. But we can't all be from Canada, the winter land of the Americas!" Kaleb chuckles. "I don't blame you for hating the winter, Vee. Maple here," He motions to the goose waddling by his side, "Isn't much a fan either."

"Oh, I don't know. The winter doesn't bother me much." Though it's not that she loves it, just that she doesn't hate it. Boudica smiles at Vee and then at Maple. "Feathers do little against the cold. I can imagine their discomfort."

"Can't say it's my favorite, either," Shelley agrees. "But Vee takes an especial dislike to it that's no shock to me in the least." She runs her fingers down her owl's feathers one more time - then starts ruffling under them, while Vee turns his head first one way, then another, to try to guide her fingers to just the right spot. "It's probably best I've never been forced to live through a Canadian winter. I hear it's horrid"

"Oh, Canadian winters aren't so bad once you get used to them. I always used to say to my friends back at school, 'Let the storm rage on, the cold never bothered me anyway!'" Kaleb says with a little shrug and a soft smile, "And Maple can certainly attest to the fact that I've never been terribly bothered by it, eh Maple?" Maple just gives a long, loud honk and a little hiss. "That's his way of agreeing with me, at the moment. At least I hope he agrees. Otherwise he's going to be one unhappy goose for the rest of the day!"

"I can imagine. London is far sight different from Central America!" That is to Vee particularly disliking the cold. "He seems to have a good reason to stay, however." That reason being Sheley, of course. "I've never been to Canada, either. I should really go one day. I should see more of the Americas." Maple's honk is given a wide grin. "Perhaps he'd be less grumpy if you gave him a kitten," she teases Kaleb.

"Well - luckily for me, he takes good care of me," Shelley remarks. "…sometimes he won't let me out of his sights, though. And he's officially banned from Sweet Temptations," she gestures out the door. "He followed me in one day, and there happened to be a chocolate beetle crawling out of some child's cauldron cake. Well, of course he ate it and got sick. He keeps trying to get back in there out of hope for more chocolate beetles." She fixes the owl with a stern look - all the while still rubbing the feathers of his head. With his eyes mostly lidded, he doesn't seem to notice or care.

"I hope your owl takes better care of you than my goose. Maple seems to want more concern to be focused on him rather than me." Kaleb chuckles. "And you're quite right, Miss Burke. He might just be less grumpy if I got him a kitten. But for now, a grumpy goose might be what I'll have to live with. It wouldn't be the first time!"

Boudica laughs. "They certainly know what they want, even if they don't understand that it is bad for them." She's dealt with more than few cases of animals eating things they shouldn't. She glances between the tabby cat, the goose and the owl before then glancing at the humans. With a sheepish smile, she tells them, "Sorry, I should be going. I only meant to stop inside for a moment. I'm late for an appointment. It was a pleasure talking with you both, as well as Maple and Vee. I hope to see you again soon. If either of you ever need a vet, don't hesitate to send an owl."

"No offense - but I hope I've no need to call on you," Shelley answers, giving Boudica a brief smile. "As long as I can keep Vee away from the chocolate beetles, of course."

"It has been a pleasure talking with you, Miss Burke." Kaleb bows his head slightly. "Now, Vee, do you prefer any particular kind of beetle? There are so many kinds of them here!" He chuckles. "But I do agree, chocolate covered beetles are probably the most delicious kinds."

"Of course, I hope you never need a vet, either." Boudica does not seem to mind. "But, should the need arise, please don't hesitate to contact me." To Vee, she wags a finger. "Stay away from the chocolate beetles." Then, to Maple, she says in sotto voce, "Keep working on Mr. Gamp for that kitten." And after that, it is the humans. "A pleasure to meet you both!" And with that she heads outside and disappears into the crowd milling about the Alley.

"I think the larger the beetle, the more he enjoys it," Shelley explains in a wry tone. "And roaches. He'll happily eat those as well. And large grasshoppers. Really - most any large insect."

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