Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Bawdle Oordle Boogle Gargle!

As you can see and read, it is impossible to properly describe in words the delicious carolling sounds that Magpies make.

I was having a naughty lunch today, in the sunshine at a local park in the foothills of Adelaide. My justification was that I was feeling miserable on my month of 'no dairy', had been working hard all morning helping to prepare for our school's upcoming quiz night fundraiser and had one of my all-too-regular sleepless insomniac nights. Therefore a sneaky little drive in and out of the golden arches was deserved, I thought.

No cheese though, just a chicken burger and some fries, washed down with a coke. Diet of course. The sun was shining down at a comfortable 20C or so, and I settled down on a park bench with views of Adelaide just above the line of gum trees, chewing contentedly. Life was pretty good and------ BAWDLE OORDLE BOOGLE GARGLE ---- what the hell was that!

Half of my fries ended up on the ground as I jumped up in fright and squished the box too tightly. Sitting about one metre behind me was a young magpie, singing its very lovely song.
"Why you little....poonce!" was the best retort I could conjure up. The maggie couldn't have cared less and decided to perch itself on the back of the bench.

"Oh go on then, have one of these," I said, placing a small chip on the seat. He peered suspiciously at me - inasmuch as a magpie can peer suspiciously - gave it a peck, scooped it up and flew off into the tallest tree out of sight.

Two minutes later and he was back, this time landing rather confidently at my feet with no less than a sneaker's length between us. "Oh, you want some more, do you?" I crooned, feeling not the slightest bit eccentric sitting there on my own, in a public park, talking to a bird. "Here you go then," but this time I placed the french fry on the tip of my shoe. His beady little reddish brown eyes glanced at me for a nanosecond but long enough for me to decide that his initial suspicion had gone. One swift scoop up with his beak and he was off into the trees again.

My fries were all eaten and my burger was nearly gone. He appeared again, very confidently now, right by my foot.
"How about a few shreds of lettuce - they're dripping with mayo. Sorry about that."
He looked at me disdainfully and had a few unenthusiastic pecks. However he looked as though he was perhaps prepared to give it a go. He flew off into the tree and returned less than a minute later.
"Wasn't that so popular, old buddy?"
"Fair enough, I don't like it either." A couple of chunks of bread were ripped off the burger and placed on the laces of my shoe. "How about some of this instead?"

Now you're talking, he seemed to say. If the magpie was a he, which was only a guess, he was fairly young as the feathers on his back were still light grey. How many babies did he have up there in the tree? Where was his better half - with the young 'uns or busy swooping down on my fellow park walkers? My lunch was finished and I stood up, wiping my hands on my jeans, slurping the last of my diet coke.

"No, it's all gone mate. You'll have to go and forage for something a bit more healthy now."
At the carpark, it was only when I finished reversing out that I noticed the spectacular white and grey fried-egg-sized bird poop on the windscreen. Why that little....!!

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