the magpie ultimatum
I looked up from my book but couldn't see anyone. It wasn't Bibs, I'd
know her wee voice anywhere.
"Heh!" said the voice again.
On the fence across the garden was a bird. "Heh," it said
again. I looked around.
"Aye, you." said the bird.
I looked at it, "who are you heh-ing at?" I asked.
It ignored my question, "gonnae have a word wi her?"
I noticed the bird feeder, though full, was devoid of its usual fluttery
of feathered friends. There was only this one in the garden. Well, on
the fence at least.
"Have a word with who?" I asked.
that cat. She's causing havoc
around here, man, pure havoc. You can't come to a feeder but she's hiding
close by and
WHAM!!! you're suddenly staring at cat tonsils."
I did feel some sympathy for the bird, I do go out of my way to care
for them, especially in winter. "Oh," I said, "were you
the one she had the other day?"
"Aye," said the Magpie, "Ah'm still recoverin from that."
It shuddered. "I shooda got an Oscar for my play-the-dead-bird
"It would have been well earned," I said. "I thought
you were dead. You should have seen her face when you flew away."
"Wasn't funny to me," said the Magpie, seriously.
"No, I guess it wasn't," said I, "sorry, But listen,
she's not my cat. I can't tell her what to do, even though I would prefer
she left you guys alone
and me, for that matter, but she's not
"We know, but it's your garden and we know you like having us birds
around, so have a word, eh? Y'never know, it might work. Otherwise,
we're aw just going to have to get our fatbaws and seeds somewhere else."
I hesitated then said, "not in Peter Mullen's garden, you won't!"
"Aye," it sighed, "right enough. Ah've heard the Jackdaws
are gauin bananas ower there. But this isnae just me, and the rest of
the Magpies, we've hud a meetin, it's the Sparras, the Blue Tits, the
Great Tits, the Green Finch an the doves annaw. So, hiv a word wi her,
eh no? Or we're off!"
The bird did two hops to the left and took off - it flew over my head.
"I do love my biodiverse wee garden." I thought, "maybe
I should try and get her to see sense."
"Ah widnae haud mah breath, big man," said Bibs from under
my chair, "this lady's not for turning."
fuhrfuxsake! You can read minds now?" I cried.
"YYYUP! The Shaolin Temple is online these days," she purred.