12: The Interloper
PEACE ENDED in our friendly neighborhood one morning when Mum and Dad magpie were quietly munching on a hamburger each while I was in dutiful attendance. I had noticed that for the last couple of days something was amiss.
Squeaky’s crew were conspicuous by their absence and I wondered if I had done something to offend them. Isn’t it crazy that you can feel guilty about something you may have done sometimes, even to a bloody bird.
All of a sudden, out of the blue, a black fighter jet zeroed in on Mum and Dad. Like a flash it dive bombed both of them, sending them hurtling down to the lawn below.
I looked up in astonishment and there perched on the limb of a tree in attack position was what I thought at the time was Elvira, although she
It continued its attack until Mum and Dad retreated into the wild blue yonder. I was kicking myself for being friendly with the currawong at the start by feeding it some of my hamburgers and encouraging it.
I wished to have had my time over again so I could chuck something other than a hamburger crumb at it – preferably something a lot heavier and more deadly.
Over the next few days Squeaky and his crew twice managed to land on the guttering and hurriedly gulp down a morsel or two before they were assailed by the interloper and sent on their way.
I didn’t spot them or the magpies again while the tyrant was in attack mode, except for Dad who flew the gauntlet one day and defiantly perched on the railing to order a large serving of hamburger. I was never sure whether he was brave or just a dumb bird.
Even with the constant attacks, Dad managed to come a few times although it was plain to see that the interloper was doing him damage with his nasty beak. Mum was no match and after a few attempts, stayed away like the butcherbirds did.
All of the pieces suddenly fell into place and I twigged that it was not Elvira at all that was the villain, it was her schizophrenic boyfriend (pictured left in a very nasty mood) that was raising havoc amongst the birds.
He was a nasty piece of work too. I was relieved in a way that it was not the currawong that I was originally feeding before the dark brown stuff hit the fan.
This was to be proved shortly after the chicks were born, for the female currawong resumed flying to the balcony railing for some take away meals to feed her little ones.
It was then, after realizing that there were in fact two currawongs, (silly me, of course it takes two, doesn’t it?) that I named her Elvira and her crazy nut of a boyfriend, The Interloper.
I didn’t know how long his despotic tyranny would reign and I dreaded the thought of putting up with this imbecile of a bird for any length of time, for he had ruined the peace and quiet of the neighborhood in one fell swoop.
I am sure that all the birds would be in total agreement with me, but fate was to step in and give us a helping hand…
Dan’s Quote: “Don’t judge a crop by the one rotten apple on the tree.”