‘They are similar in appearance to what the Turkish call nazar boncuğu, the amulet that is used to ward off the evil eye. This lends these rather unspectacular birds a certain air of mystery and even superiority, particularly because the eye does not appear to move. However, my attempts to study the two caged animals that belonged to the house were thwarted by a small brown dog, which had the habit of mounting another dog, slightly smaller with white curly hair, each morning. The brown dog’s preference was back to front and so he tended to gyrate frantically for several minutes against the head of the unfortunate bitch, his mother in fact, before dismounting and leaving in his wake a distressed elderly dog pawing at a sticky dollop of semen between her ears.’