JAKE THACKRAY was born in Leeds, 1938. Educated at St. Michael's College and Durham University. Taught for ten years in France and North England. Is married and has three sons. Refuses to give any other information, save this —
"My bantams did not stay in their coop. Every day at bantamfart they rose in formation over their close mesh wire over the house top and the motorbike shed and then down in a blissful glide to my vegetable seed beds. There they spent a leisurely day scratching and peering, picking, gulping, fluffing their backsides in the fine, dry soil, to return to the coop at night tired, but happy, for a good night's roost."
"To stop their flying and save my vegetables, I crept one night into their house and while they were dreaming, cut off their right armpit feathers: the day after they flew over the wire at a slant. I shaved their left armpits; they climbed up the wire claw over claw: I made the wire twelve foot high. They constructed a large vaulting horse and while some practised ostentatiously all day, others strolled around the compound surreptitiously shaking dust down their trouser legs."
"I took down all the wire and got a spunky cockerel and they stayed at home all day."
"I tell you this to avoid telling you anything else. It is songs that count and not the singer. Listen to the songs. If you don't like them much talk to members of the opposite sex. Or go to bed early."