The Birds

I mentioned last week that the Tower of London will be welcoming the first woman Beefeater in history. Now it appears the best qualified candidate has one small problem. She’s afraid of ravens.

I don’t know the specifics of her 22+ years of military service, a prerequisite for the Tower post. Perhaps she is brave under fire. (I don’t know how much action she has seen in her current position as a chief clerk in the Adjutant General’s Corps.) At the Tower there is no enemy, no bullets, no bombs. Their are, however, ravens. When being introduced publicly in her new role, Warrant Officer Moira Cameron, a 42-year-old Scot, said, “I’m a bit frightened” before refusing to sit near them. The whole ravens thing is a pretty big aspect of life in the Tower. Did she know this when she applied for the post?

Shouldn’t they have asked about her attitude toward ravens before they gave her the job? I’m not suggesting that men are inherently braver around birds, but now that anyone might be appointed as a Yeoperson, perhaps to avoid sex discrimination they should ask all candidates whether they mind the birds.

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