23 June 2008

The Dead Magpie and My Feelings of Inadequacy

Well last night was something of a triumph – apart from limiting myself to only a couple of glasses of cider and two cigarettes next door (probably because Tan was in Poland) the kids declared my roast dinner – ‘absolutely delicious’. This highly unusual compliment may, of course, have been due to the fact that Kitty wanted me to do some work in her bedroom for the forthcoming Hawaii Party on Thursday but it made me feel somewhat chuffed. I’m sure it was the slow roasted vine tomatoes and black olives which was the crowning touch.

This morning however, my feelings of well-being and parental adequacy were well and truly shattered.

You see ever since I read that Magpies (those large black and white, screeching birds) peck out the eyes of new born lambs I’ve been gunning for them – literally. Not just because of the eye-pecking business, they’ve eaten my goldfish, they steal Shadow’s food (Shadow is our dog), they chase and dive-bomb the cats and make a huge mess of the terrace as they sit on the iron railings, screeching at Shadow and…… crap. So……the high-powered air rifle is always loaded and ready to take these vermin out. Those immortal words, ‘c'mon punk make my day ’ come to mind as I open my window, take aim and ……miss ! I’ve probably missed a few hundred of the buggers. I don’t think I’ve ever come close – cause they just fly to the nearest tree and continue to screech – I’m sure they are laughing at me.

You can therefore imagine my surprise this morning when, on opening the kitchen door, there, placed perfectly on the doorstep was…….a dead magpie. And a few feet further back sat Coco (our cat) looking at me with a self-satisfied smug look on her cute face. I could tell what she was thinking…..’this pratt shoots away and never comes close and all I have to do is hide in the bushes and grab them’. Anyway – picking up the still-warm carcass I decided to throw it up on top of my neighbour’s trees (ostensibly so the cats couldn’t eat it and then puke all over the lounge carpet) but as usual, I missed and the dead bird ‘flew’ over the trees into her garden where I heard it land with a thump on her immacculate lawn. Almost immediately every magpie in the area descended on this tragic scene. The screeching was almost ear splitting as they all sat round their dead colleague and cried in unison. It was an unbelievable sight and then about 20 minutes later they all flew off leaving their dead friend to do what dead magpies do – rot !

For a few minutes I thought that if these birds are capable of such devotion and emotion should I be shooting them or trying to shoot them ? And then I saw the purple mess on the pool-side. More magpie crap – c’mon you feathered buggers – make my day’.

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