Thursday, August 26, 2010

Day 325

You want a piece of me? YOU WANT A PIECE OF ME??

Oh, ok. I'll be there in a minute.

There is a magpie sitting right outside my door looking through the glass at me. He is a very fat and very shiny black magpie. The only thing between him and I right now is the glass of our French doors leading onto the back deck. And now he's starting to yodel. He is singing for his supper ... or in this case ... his breakfast.

I love magpies. They aren't the prettiest birds in the world, and they go all swooping and head pecky during nesting season, but they are lovely Aussie creatures with a very musical song. I have a soft spot for them since having a "pet" maggie as a kid. Dad brought home a baby magpie that was injured on the side of a road and we fed him and nurtured him in our back yard. He used to ride around on the back of my pony, and would even roll on his back and let our big dog scratch his belly with his paw. He ended up drowning in our small pool. It was devastating. We had a dish to wash your feet in before you climbed into the pool, and he would swim in the dish, but on a particularly hot day the dish was empty so he took a dive in the pool and never came out. Anyway, I have a soft spot for magpies.

So does my husband. Despite the fact that he was attacked by a couple of upset magpie parents on the day I gave birth to Tahlia. Derek had been up for 24 hours when he finally came home from the hospital at dawn to grab a nap before coming back to spend time with his brand new baby. He was about to settle into a sleep when he noticed a baby maggie in the back yard with a clearly visible broken wing. Oh dear. With all that new parent chemical racing through his body, our very own Dr Doolittle whipped into action to get the bird to a vet for repair. The bird was apparently in pain. The bird was apparently struggling. The bird was clearly going to end up a permanent inhabitant of our backyard and at the mercy of the neighbours cat if something wasn't done. So Derek went into hero mode and went about to catch the bird and take it to the vet. But of course mamma and pappa magpie didn't know he was the saviour. They started the attack. They were swooping and pecking him on the head. Like any good parent would. By the end of the morning Derek was still (apparently) running around our backyard with a bike helmet on his head and waving a broom around trying to throw a blanket over the baby. Eventually the baby was with a wildlife carer and being nursed back to health. And Derek was eventually in bed while I was none-the-wiser 15 minutes away nursing my new baby girl (and nursing and icing my very sore lady bits).

So it is with all that reminiscing that I watch as Maggie sings for his breakfast and yodels for his friends to join him. Since beginning this story we now have five magpies sitting on our outdoor table all of them yodeling and watching me through the glass.

Hang on, hang on. I'll be there in a minute. Geez ....

Yes, we've been feeding them. We have some new creatures in our world and, just like the possum and the parrots, we are giving our local wildlife a few treats just to keep them around. These ones are eating mince, left over steak, and diced bacon. They are going to cost us a fortune if they keep multiplying like they have this morning!! Don't worry. We're being disciplined. We won't overdo it ... they need to find their own food and ensure they adhere to their proper healthy diet ... but come on ... how can we refuse?

Cathy, you want to come Down Under and feed a few maggies with me? I promise they'll sing for you ....


  1. I love it.

    What a wonderful post. I'm afraid of pecky birds. But now, I don't think I will be. I love your writing.

  2. I might come over and sing for my dinner too! Except with my singing you might not want me to come back, so I'd probably end up with just a show thrown at me.

  3. Derek and the helmet & the broom......oh God love him....


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