The Enid Blyton Society

Journal 52

What did you think of the latest Journal?

Re: Journal 52

Postby Courtenay » 14 Feb 2014, 00:07

Hi Cathy!

Yes, I also thought of an African Grey, which would fit the colour description, but they don't have crests, so that seems to rule out Kiki being one. I recall Gringle, Madame Prunella's most talkative parrot in Circus Days Again, was also described as red and grey, and I've always imagined him as an African Grey.
Society Member

It was a nuisance. An adventure was one thing - but an adventure without anything to eat was quite another thing. That wouldn't do at all. (The Valley of Adventure)
User avatar
Courtenay
 
Posts: 10827
Joined: 07 Feb 2014, 01:22
Location: Kent, near London
Favourite book/series: The Adventure Series, Galliano's Circus
Favourite character: Lotta

Re: Journal 52

Postby Carlotta King » 14 Feb 2014, 00:14

That's true, yes. What a mystery, hehe! :D
The only explanation I can think of is that African Greys are exotic birds and, I would have thought, unusual in Britain at that time, so perhaps Enid just thought they had crests? If she had only seen one or two pictures of one, or perhaps not even seen a picture, perhaps just heard a description of a red and grey parrot, (that stuck in her head), she may have assumed that it had some sort of crest.
And perhaps that's why Stuart drew a cockatoo - he wanted to stick with Enid's description of a crest, as it is one of Kiki's amusing features, as she raises it and lowers it a lot in the books, but as African Greys don't have crests, he had to draw a bird with a crest, and the nearest thing would be a cockatoo? ;)
"Fussy Gussy! Polly, Polly, Polly-gize!"

Society Member
User avatar
Carlotta King
 
Posts: 2828
Joined: 15 Mar 2013, 19:01
Location: England
Favourite book/series: Adventure, Barney, Secret Series, Famous Five
Favourite character: Bill Smugs,Lucy-Ann,Snubby,Mr King,Diana,Kiki,Paul

Re: Journal 52

Postby Courtenay » 14 Feb 2014, 00:16

Yes, that's the best explanation I can think of, too! :lol:
Society Member

It was a nuisance. An adventure was one thing - but an adventure without anything to eat was quite another thing. That wouldn't do at all. (The Valley of Adventure)
User avatar
Courtenay
 
Posts: 10827
Joined: 07 Feb 2014, 01:22
Location: Kent, near London
Favourite book/series: The Adventure Series, Galliano's Circus
Favourite character: Lotta

Re: Journal 52

Postby Carlotta King » 14 Feb 2014, 00:17

Talk about Holmes and Watson, haha! :lol: :lol:
"Fussy Gussy! Polly, Polly, Polly-gize!"

Society Member
User avatar
Carlotta King
 
Posts: 2828
Joined: 15 Mar 2013, 19:01
Location: England
Favourite book/series: Adventure, Barney, Secret Series, Famous Five
Favourite character: Bill Smugs,Lucy-Ann,Snubby,Mr King,Diana,Kiki,Paul

Re: Journal 52

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 14 Feb 2014, 10:03

Courtenay wrote:I'm confused, too, as to what type of parrot Kiki is supposed to be...

The "big crest" does almost certainly point to her being a cockatoo (actually considered a separate family from "true" parrots, though closely related)...

The mystery thickens further, though, with the description of Kiki as "scarlet and grey". The only kind of cockatoo that would fit that bill (pun not intended!), as far as I know, is the Gang-gang Cockatoo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gang-gang_Cockatoo The snag is that in this case, there is an obvious difference between the sexes - it's only the male Gang-gang that is both scarlet and grey! What's more, the Gang-gang's crest is smaller than most other cockatoos', so that also casts some doubt...

In Stuart Tresilian's illustrations, especially on the 1st edition dustwrapper, Kiki looks much more like a Major Mitchell Cockatoo:

Image

Image

However, the Major Mitchell is mostly pink and white, with a scarlet and yellow banded crest, so that doesn't fit the "scarlet and grey" description either!

Image

Maybe Tresilian knew his exotic birds a bit better than Blyton did, and made Kiki resemble this real-life species rather than the description that doesn't quite fit any type of parrot or cockatoo?

Interesting thoughts, Courtenay. Enid Blyton says in The Story of My Life that Kiki was based on a real parrot belonging to her aunt. "She was a wonderful parrot, intelligent, talkative and mischievous. The things she could say!" Enid goes on to describe how the real Kiki would imitate the chimney-sweep crying "Sweeeeeep!" and would call out the name of the char-woman (Mrs. Harradine) so she would come running, thinking she was being called by Enid's aunt. The parrot would say things like "Polly's got a cold, send for the doctor" and would sniff loudly and then say, "Don't sniff! Blow your nose and wipe your feet." She could sing part of the National Anthem but would get muddled and come out with "Polly save the King, blow the King" or even "Blow the King! God save Polly," which shocked the old aunt!

I assume Enid was describing her aunt's parrot when she wrote of Kiki being scarlet and grey with a crest. It's possible that Stuart Tresilian did some research and felt that a cockatoo matched the description better (Enid's aunt might have called any parrot-like bird "a parrot" even if it was a cockatoo). The galah fits Enid's description, but again it's a cockatoo:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Femal ... e_Nest.jpg

Having said that, I seem to remember Keith Robinson (or perhaps a contributor to his website http://www.enidblyton.net/) finding a parrot which was scarlet and grey with a crest. I expect the information is still on his website somewhere but unfortunately I don't know where.
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

"There is no bond like the bond of having read and liked the same books."
- E. Nesbit, The Wonderful Garden.


Society Member
User avatar
Anita Bensoussane
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 19244
Joined: 30 Jan 2005, 23:25
Location: UK
Favourite book/series: Adventure Series and Family Books
Favourite character: Fatty, Jack Trent and Elizabeth Allen

Re: Journal 52

Postby Courtenay » 14 Feb 2014, 10:35

Yes, I thought of the galah too, but its crest is small and not very mobile - it normally sits quite flat on top of the bird's head. It doesn't raise and lower anywhere near as expressively as the long, almost fan-like crest of a Major Mitchell or several of the other cockatoos. Also, the galah's colour is much more rose-pink; I can't quite imagine anyone describing it as scarlet. (I'm very familiar with galahs, and some other cockatoo species, from growing up in Australia!)

Very interesting to hear where Enid got her inspiration! Thanks for sharing that, Anita. I too would love to know if there really is a scarlet and grey species of parrot (or cockatoo) with a sufficiently big crest. But perhaps Kiki was an amalgam of several different kinds of bird that Enid had seen or read about - combining the cheekiness and talkativeness of her aunt's parrot (are we told what Polly looked like? I'm guessing she may have been an African Grey) with a crest to make her all the more expressive! That's my best guess, anyway, unless a better possibility does come to light.
Society Member

It was a nuisance. An adventure was one thing - but an adventure without anything to eat was quite another thing. That wouldn't do at all. (The Valley of Adventure)
User avatar
Courtenay
 
Posts: 10827
Joined: 07 Feb 2014, 01:22
Location: Kent, near London
Favourite book/series: The Adventure Series, Galliano's Circus
Favourite character: Lotta

Re: Journal 52

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 14 Feb 2014, 10:58

Thanks for the further details about the galah. In the Adventure books Kiki often "raises her crest" and even loses a few feathers to a bullet in one book, so you're right that the crest of the galah doesn't sound like the right kind.

I'm afraid Enid Blyton doesn't describe what her aunt's parrot looked like.
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

"There is no bond like the bond of having read and liked the same books."
- E. Nesbit, The Wonderful Garden.


Society Member
User avatar
Anita Bensoussane
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 19244
Joined: 30 Jan 2005, 23:25
Location: UK
Favourite book/series: Adventure Series and Family Books
Favourite character: Fatty, Jack Trent and Elizabeth Allen

Re: Journal 52

Postby Courtenay » 14 Feb 2014, 14:29

Anita Bensoussane wrote:I'm afraid Enid Blyton doesn't describe what her aunt's parrot looked like.

That's a shame - she seems to have associated "scarlet and grey" parrots with talkativeness in her books, though (Gringle, as well as Kiki), so perhaps that's a clue.

Galahs are hilarious birds, by the way. They come in anything from pairs to huge flocks, even in towns, making a funny chirruping chatter, and when the young ones want food (which is most of the time), they screech CONSTANTLY - it's quite deafening! They're complete clowns, too. Especially in wet weather, they'll sit along the power lines, flap about, hang upside down, even turn complete 360-degree flips sometimes. They're so funny! They're sometimes kept as pets, but I think that's more common overseas than in Australia - they have to be bred in captivity, as it's illegal to take them from the wild. On top of that, we also use the term "galah" to mean a very silly or foolish person! :mrgreen:
Society Member

It was a nuisance. An adventure was one thing - but an adventure without anything to eat was quite another thing. That wouldn't do at all. (The Valley of Adventure)
User avatar
Courtenay
 
Posts: 10827
Joined: 07 Feb 2014, 01:22
Location: Kent, near London
Favourite book/series: The Adventure Series, Galliano's Circus
Favourite character: Lotta

Re: Journal 52

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 14 Feb 2014, 17:47

Galahs sound fun to watch! Many years ago I used to watch Neighbours and I think some of the characters in that programme got called a "galah" when they'd done something silly.
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

"There is no bond like the bond of having read and liked the same books."
- E. Nesbit, The Wonderful Garden.


Society Member
User avatar
Anita Bensoussane
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 19244
Joined: 30 Jan 2005, 23:25
Location: UK
Favourite book/series: Adventure Series and Family Books
Favourite character: Fatty, Jack Trent and Elizabeth Allen

Re: Journal 52

Postby walter raleigh » 15 Dec 2014, 00:20

I finished reading "Book Of Brownies" a few days ago and was looking to make one of my long rambling posts, attempting to articulate my thoughts on it, once I'd finally found enough spare time. I knew Anita had written an article in one of the Journals about it though, so I thought I would dig that out and see what she had to say about it first.

Well, I'm glad I did as it saved me a job! Anita's article makes all the same points that I was going to make (plus quite a few more besides that hadn't occurred to me but that I completely agree with.), but does so far more eloquently and thoughtfully than I ever could. So if you want to know my thoughts on "Enid Blyton's Book Of Brownies" then read Anita's article in this Journal - it's excellent! (as of course is the rest of the issue.) And if you don't have a copy then I believe there are still some available from the shop in the foyer...
"Stuck in a state of permanent pre-pubescence like poor Julian in the Famous Five!"

Society Member
User avatar
walter raleigh
 
Posts: 1237
Joined: 09 May 2014, 04:35
Location: On Kirrin Island Again
Favourite book/series: 5 Fall Into Adventure/R Mysteries/Adventure Series
Favourite character: George Kirrin

Re: Journal 52

Postby Anita Bensoussane » 15 Dec 2014, 08:36

Cheers, Walter! :lol: You've shared a few of your thoughts on The Book of Brownies since you joined the forums, so I knew you felt the same as I did about it being a book which deserves a lot more recognition.
"Heyho for a starry night and a heathery bed!" - Jack, The Secret Island.

"There is no bond like the bond of having read and liked the same books."
- E. Nesbit, The Wonderful Garden.


Society Member
User avatar
Anita Bensoussane
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 19244
Joined: 30 Jan 2005, 23:25
Location: UK
Favourite book/series: Adventure Series and Family Books
Favourite character: Fatty, Jack Trent and Elizabeth Allen

Previous

Return to The Enid Blyton Society Journal

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests