The missing body parts
No 4086
Set by Ian Blake
In "Jumping the Cracks", by Victoria Blake, an Oxford don remarks: "I bumped into someone carrying a shrunken head in Holywell . . ." We
asked you to begin or end with this sentence in giving your statement to the police, who have just arrested you as a murder suspect

Report by Ms de Meaner
So many of you decided that Holywell was in Clywd, rather than in Oxford, that I decided not to penalise you, although I'd have thought it more likely an Oxford don would be in Oxford. £20 to the winners, with the Tesco vouchers going in addition to: Alanna Blake.

I bumped into someone carrying a shrunken head in Holywell. As I told the arresting officer, the holder was of South American persuasion and he called the head a tsantsa. He gave me the head and ran off. I was on my way to watch Chester v AFC Wimbledon. I had no time to bother you (the police) and anticipated I could give this to the constabulary after the match, as there was bound to be a token police presence. I had no idea the head belonged to an MK Dons exile, who had moved to Chipping Norton. Although I was very angry when the original Wimbledon Football Club disbanded and split into two sides, that does not warrant as a motive for the beheading of an Oxford "Don".
Jason Casey

I bumped into someone carrying a shrunken head in Holywell. The person was wearing a hooded garment and could have been either gender. When we collided, I fell. Being arthritic, I had problems getting up, by which time they had disappeared. They had probably been visiting St Winefride's Well, which is associated with a severed head, although 14 centuries ago. Strange things happen at holy wells. Someone, while I was lifting my stick, saw the head on the grass and screamed. They got the police. I have no idea how a thumbless human hand got into my hotel room wastepaper basket. But this is Wales. The matter of the newborn baby was pure coincidence. I never used that fire escape, as I have balance problems. Anyway, I believe the child survived.
Alanna Blake

I bumped into someone carrying a shrunken head in Holywell. The guy knocked me flying, then ran off into the park leaving me, dazed, with the shrunken head. I honestly thought that was what it was. I'd studied the indigenous peoples of Ecuador and thought I knew a thing or two. Heading straight for the Ashmolean, I realised a Mercedes was following me. I ran. I don't know why. They caught me by Magdalen Bridge and brought me here. I honestly thought it was an ancient Amazonian talisman. I had no idea it was Hazel Blears. I think I've been framed and I suspect this thing goes right to the top. I want to see my lawyer.
David Silverman

Today is Alice Day at Oxford. I can see that I look eccentric but I am supposed to be the Cheshire Cat. That thing attached to my face is not a curved dagger. It is my smile. I am meant to be appearing in a play outside the Oxford Museum. We were told we could borrow any objects we needed. I wanted a shroud to make most of me invisible; I didn't know that there would be a Maori ancestor inside it, and I was going to take him back. There are plenty of other people doing similar things. Why, I bumped into someone carrying a shrunken head in Holywell.
John Purkis

No 4089 Five, seven, five . . .
Set by Leonora Casement
We'd like haikus on a party leader of your choice.
As many goes as you like by 13 August

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This England
Each printed entry will receive a £5 book token. Entries on a POSTCARD, please, to This England, NS, 1st Floor, Boundary House,
91-93 Charterhouse Street, London, EC1M 6HR

Sardine for sale
The tin of sardines has been in Jackie Carroll's kitchen ever since her late husband Peter brought it home from the hotel he managed, but is set to go under the hammer in Norwich tomorrow. Mrs Carroll, of Trinity Street, said her husband already had it when they met in 1967 while he was manager of the George Hotel in Stamford, Lincolnshire. "He said he had kept it because that size of tin was being discontinued," she said.
The tin travelled with the family over 40 years. "He would say, 'They don't make that size any more. It'll be worth something one day.'"
The tin is being sold by Blyth & Co of Lothian Street, along with a decorative white metal and glass "galloping sardine" trolley, given to the Carrolls as a leaving gift by staff at the Roebuck, Sussex.
Lowestoft online (Ivor Yeloff)

Darwin v Noah
Author and teacher Paul Taylor heads to Pocklington Christian Fellowship on Chapmansgate on Wednesday; he will discuss Darwinism. The talk starts at 7pm. A second talk on Noah begins at 8.15.
Pocklington Post (Roger Smith and Judy Nicholson)