The Misadventures of Carmelu and the Infamous Sliema Ferret

When Sliema Stood Still: A Curious Case of Chaos and Ħobż biż-Żejt

It was a day unlike any other in the bustling coastal town of Sliema, where the sun kissed the waves and the seagulls serenaded the morning joggers. The scent of freshly baked bread wafted through the air, mingling with the tantalizing aroma of pastizzi from the corner shop. Amidst the scurry of locals and camera-laden tourists, there patter-scuttled, in a zigzag of mischief, the town’s most unexpected celebrity: Benny the Ferret.

Carmelu, a local fisherman known for his three loves – lampuki fishing, an occasional tumbler of Ġellewża wine, and utter disdain for undue excitement – had been the unwitting adopter of Benny. It was during a routine stop at the Marsaxlokk fish market, where Carmelu’s penchant for bargaining had landed him not only a bucket of fish but also a ferret, traded by a wiry old gentleman with a talent for persuasion and a lack of disclosure regarding pet ferrets.

Of Ferrets and Fervor: A Maltese Man in a Stir

Uwejja! Benny was no ordinary ferret. He had the hustle of a Paceville club promoter and the slippery guile of a Mdina alleyway. Carmelu’s attempts to introduce Benny to the art of serene existence proved futile. In a twist only fate could relish, our whiskered escape artist wriggled out the slightly ajar kitchen window, sparking an event that would make the Maltese Falcon’s heist look like child’s play.

Blockbuster Bellyache: The Great Ħobż biż-Żejt Vanishing Act

The day had been set for the legendary Sliema Ħobż Fest – a revered event where the iconic Maltese bread lavishly lathered with kunserva, olive oil, and a pinch of magic (a.k.a. the Maltese palate’s secret desire) stood in the culinary spotlight. Carmelu, ever so content with his role as a spectator, ambled to the fest, the echoes of “Mela, what a beautiful day” in his thoughts.

“Attention, Sliema residents and our dearly beloved tourists!” squawked the megaphone. “There’s a playful ferret on the loose. Keep an eye on your ħobż, he’s got a taste for the good stuff!”

But before the warning could percolate through the crowd, Benny, with the stealth of a cat burglar, raided the fest. He darted between legs and leaped over picnic blankets, transforming the leisurely event into a Benny-blur of disarray.

The UN-Tweet-able Catastrophe

Just saw a ferret snatch my ħobż biż-Żejt and dash into Valletta’s Upper Barrakka Gardens! #OnlyInMalta #FerretGate

The news erupted across social media faster than a politician’s promise before an election. Benny became the sensation no one expected, disrupting the quiet lives of those perched on their balconies, snatching up their favorite snack, leaving naught but crumbs and delighted screams in his wake.

The Plot Thickens: From Sliema to Gozo, a Tale Unfolds

As Benny’s infamy grew, Govinda, an expat and seasoned adventurer, launched a live social media campaign: #CatchBenny. It was interactive, it was bold, and quite frankly, it was a superb distraction from the mundane.

Join me on the Benny chase across the Maltese islands! He’s on the ferry to Gozo now. Stay tuned! #CatchBenny #MalteseMischief

Carmelu, who had initially fretted over Benny’s escape, now found his own unlikely purpose – reclaiming the lost honor of Sliema’s Ħobż Fest and the dignity of ferret owners everywhere.

The Unexpected Twist: Harmony in Havoc

The chase culminated in a scene so bewilderingly joyous it could have been mistaken for a carnival. As Carmelu cornered Benny in Gozo, among the Ġgantija temples, an unwitting toot from a pastizz van startled the ferret just enough for a safe capture. Laughter bubbled among the onlookers as the #CatchBenny live feed went viral.

But here came the twist that turned the day’s distress into triumph – the ferret frenzy had unwittingly drawn attention to small businesses and historical sites. Carmelu, now dubbed ‘The Ferret Whisperer of Malta,’ had inadvertently become a local hero. And Benny? He was our very own four-legged influencer.

Weekly Update

So whether you’re nibbling on a ħobż biż-Żejt, gawking at the Azure Window’s ghostly remains, or simply soaking in the sun off Mellieħa Bay, remember Benny and Carmelu – a duo that taught us all the value of a good laugh, the joys of serendipity, and the peculiar charm of Maltese life. This is ‘Times of Mela,’ where the stories are as rich as the history and twice as tasty!

Stay tuned for next week’s escapade: “The Great Gozitan Għana-off!” Will our tuneful troubadours hit a sour note, or will it be music to our ears? #TimesOfMela