As tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s Day, I thought it would be nice to tell you about my experiences with kissing gates. There are two explanations of why they are named kissing gates. The first is that “kissing” is an engineering term to describe the gate touching the posts on either side. The second explanation is more romantic, so it’s my preferred one for Valentine’s Day. The older kissing gates have quite a restricted space, so a couple would have to go through one at a time. A kiss can be requested to allow the second person to swing the gate and pass through.
The first time I saw a kissing gate, it was in the grounds of Wimpole Hall. It was quite a large kissing gate and there was no other gate available. My bipeds told me that it was large enough for me to enter and stand still, but I was not keen on the idea of that gate swinging next to me. I was six months old and I had never been nervous of anything before, but I decided I was not going to enter the kissing gate. They tried to tempt me with treats, but I was not persuaded. They demonstrated how easy it was by going through it multiple times themselves. That was very amusing, but I wasn’t convinced.
We changed direction and we went to the tea shop and sat outside at a table. One of my bipeds stayed with me while the other one went in and came back with some tea, cakes and a sausage roll. They ate the cakes and drank the tea, but they didn’t give me anything. They wrapped the sausage roll up in a napkin and put it in a pocket, as though they were planning to take it home – that was silly, I was there and keen to try it.
We left the tea shop and walked towards the kissing gate. This time the biped with the sausage roll went through. Then he got the sausage roll out and broke a piece off and held it out, through the side of the kissing gate. Well, I could risk putting my head inside to get a piece of sausage roll! But it was still just out of reach, so I moved forward. Before I knew it, I was inside the kissing gate eating a tasty piece of sausage roll and the gate had swung past me and I could join the biped who had the sausage roll.
They made a big fuss of me and told me how clever I was. They seemed to find it amusing, I’m not sure why – they should have explained better in the first place! We had a pleasant stroll and then returned through the kissing gate. I was quite keen to enter this time because I knew there was still sausage roll left! I haven’t been worried about going through a kissing gate since, as long as my bipeds say it’s large enough. Some kissing gates are far too small for me to fit in the enclosure – that’s what I call a bad design. But not as bad as a suspension footbridge that wobbles – I’ll tell you about that another time!
See you next Wednesday!