4: Sausage For Lunch
SQUEAKY returned to my balcony railing on regular occasions after our first meeting to reappraise this large creature that he had seen on his first visit. I wondered if he knew what I was, but then on second thoughts, he probably knew more about me than I did about him.
Man’s self assumption that we are the most intelligent species on earth is maybe a bit vain I think. I did wonder though whether he imagined me flying about and perching in the treetops like he did – or again, was this just another example of my lack of understanding.
Being a bit dim witted, rather than a bird brain, it took me a while to interpret what ‘squeak-squeak’ meant. Finally it dawned on me that Squeaky was telling me to, ‘Feed me – feed me’ so I had a look in the fridge for some type of suitable nourishment that would satisfy his tastes.
The only food I could find was some raw sausages, so I cut the skin away and fed the mince to Squeaky. As you can imagine, the sausage mince stuck to my fingers like glue and trying to throw the meat to him was extremely difficult and eventually became a losing battle.
Squeaky (pictured left) would open his mouth in eager anticipation then when the morsel did not arrive at its intended destination – he would close his mouth and look at me quizzically with what I could only call a look of disappointment and abject pity at my inept and amateurish attempts to perform such a simple task.
The more I tried, the bigger the glob of mince grew on my fingers… and hand… and arm and…, but Squeaky must have been satisfied eventually though as next day three butcher birds turned up (all called Squeaky at that time) and I once again fed them sticky sausage mince with all the drama of the day before.
They seemed to enjoy my frustrated efforts for they continued to return again and again each day. I thanked my lucky stars that birds can’t laugh…. or can they? Maybe I was just too dumb to understand their chiding chirps and snickers.
I quickly realized that I had to do something drastic about the quality of the food supply (raw sausage mince was just not satisfactory) as not only was all the squeaky birds now arriving for a feed, but more species were arriving each day to join in the free lunch – and to watch and enjoy the human circus.
I decided to zap the sausages in the microwave oven for a few seconds and see what happened, but that was not a success. I didn’t want to overcook the meat, so the centre of the sausage turned out stickier than it was before, mixing with the outer cooked stuff to form a grotesque, alien looking blob. I had to find a more suitable and easier to handle form of food, but what?
My neighbour, who has been involved from the beginning, is also a bird. (Of the unfeathered variety of course) and she was to become a regular very amused spectator at the bird’s feeding. She also became a trusted friend of the birds, even though she never fed them. Maybe she had more sense than to be made a fool of – like me.
She laughed at my chagrin, but being another human, although still a bird, I was fully aware of her laughter. I did retaliate, venting my irritation by calling her the ‘Old Bird’- which made me feel better anyway, if not her.
The birds must have understood for they were sometimes in the habit of standing on the railing outside her door until she appeared before moving next door to the railing outside my unit. Were they summoning the ‘Old Bird’ first? Was this comic camaraderie in action between all the birds?
Even at this early stage of my inter-relationship with Squeaky and his friends, I began to see something that I had never seen before. I also realized that it had always been there but I had never taken the time to look…