Back in 1978 there was a firefighters’ strike. The army where called out to step into their shoes. The army does not have fire trucks. They have their own firefighting vehicles called “Green Goddesses” – a sort of pared-down cheap version of a fire truck painted green and built in the mid 1950s.
On this occasion, soldiers (it may have been an RAF crew from Odiham) on firefighting duty were called out to rescue a cat stuck up a tree in South London. The usual stuff that takes place not uncommonly.
The Green Goddess crew arrived fairly promptly. The frightened feline was successfully recovered from the tree.
The cat’s owner, an elderly lady, was infinitely grateful and invited the crew in for a cup of tee. Those were the days of old fashioned ways.
After the enjoying their afternoon tiffin (Indian word meaning a light midday meal) they drove off in their naff Green Goddess and promptly ran over and killed the cat that they had so efficiently saved.
The story was told on the radio this morning. The story teller, Steve Allen at LBC radio, said that the driver of the truck smiled or chuckled after learning that he had driven over the cat.
I am not sure this is true. In fact the whole story may contain some fiction but I believe it is essentially true. The smile was described as a nervous response rather than a malicious one.
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