ONLINE RETAIL GIANT Amazon has already received 'owls of protest for its concept of sending packages via programmable unmanned drones, but it hasn't taken long for rival brick and mortar book peddler Waterstones to take the idea to its next logical step.
Launched by the retailer on its blog today comes Ornithological Waterstones Landing Service (O.W.L.S.), a new concept in package delivery that is bound to ruffle some feathers.
The launch video explains that Waterstones plans to bring together a fleet of "adorable" owls that will be trained to deliver book packages to customers.
The owls will, we imagine, expect to be tipped for their deliveries, so therefore we recommend that if you decide to use the service, which will cost £2.75, that you have a couple of dead field mice ready by your front door when it arrives.
The £2.75 quoted seems like an amazing bargain, but Waterstones does point out that the service has no specified launch date, as it has yet to train the owls - and it takes ages to train owls to do anything - after only having thought of the idea this morning.
As such the price is likely to rise in line with inflation until it can work out how to get an owl to deliver books in the first place.
This is not the first time that the fulfilment services of a major organisation have been tendered to birds. It is a well documented fact that the page rankings of the world's most popular internet search engine are in fact chosen by a fleet of pigeons.
We are suspicious that this might be a complete lie, and an excuse for Waterstones to publicise itself while having a pop at Amazon. However, we thought it was worth reporting, if for no other reason than because baby owls are so cute. µ
Sign up for INQbot – a weekly roundup of the best from the INQ