Monday, 2 April 2007

Isn't nature wonderful?

So, it's one of the many half-terms my children enjoy. They're still in bed (the elder one is definitely getting into the teenage stay-in-bed-all-day-with-occasional-grunt phase) and I'm trying to be virtuous. Up early. Things to do, novels to cut. Out on the patio, I see a squirrel come over our fence and dig industriously but unproductively under one of our bushes. Maybe I should employ him - I know so many people who love gardening and can give you the Latin sub-category of any plant you point at (whereas my description tends to be 'It's, um, that pretty blue one next to the orangey ones'). The two magpies which started squatting in our apple tree the year before last don't like this - and they like it less when the squirrel charges across the garden at THEIR apple tree. Up he goes, up the tree trunk, stop, start, stop start, punctuated with nifty little tail flicks. The magpies hop menacingly down from branch to branch. It's a face off. The magpies are like East End bouncers. They strop their beaks against the branch as if sharpening their weapons. The interloper is completely unfazed by this: he makes sudden darts upwards at them, forcing them to flap around. They're big bullies, all talk and no action. He forces them to flee, flings himself back across the garden at them, scurries along the fence top where they perch, and they all dive into another tree. They've taken the conflict to another garden.

I cheer for the squirrel. Those magpies need taking down a peg. Plus, what I said about being all talk and no action isn't true. For years we've had blackbirds in this garden. Last summer we found a hen blackbird dead under the tree. Turning her over, I found a big hole driven into her breast. She'd been spiked by a bird's beak, poor thing. Guess who we believe are the culprits.

This is one of the purposes of a blog, isn't it? To share idle thoughts about common and uncommon experience? We're all in this game of communication to give ourselves the notion of significance.

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