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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

mrs walter's babies and other bird stories

I am happy to announce that 28 days on the dot Mrs Walter's eggs hatched.

 Indian runner ducks are notoriously bad mothers but I think she did really well. Sadly the first two that hatched wandered away from her protective wings in the night and I found them dead in the morning only a few inches from the nest. They had died of the cold. One or two didn't manage to get out of the egg but hurrah! She has two and one of them sports the funny little Ascot hat that she has.

The Indian runner duck people advised me to take the two ducklings away from her and raise them myself but I said "I'm a mother! I couldn't possibly take her babies away." So I moved her and them and the nest (and at the time the two other eggs that didn't hatch) and put them in a big rabbit run. I don't know why I have a rabbit run - we haven't kept rabbits - but there- things turn up if you look for them. She is proving the people wrong and is an excellent mother and they are very funny to watch.

 The lovely Jack has finished his holiday. I do miss him but glad I don't have to keep changing my top. (Read his diary.) Below is an extract from it.
 Jack's diary

It’s rather scary because apart from a lot of books there are other animals here too. Two cats are peering in through the bars and giving me the eye. I am giving them the eye back and hop onto a higher perch. There is also a small horse here and another dog. The small horse has a long tail which wags so it’s clearly a dog too.

When She is writing at the desk they’re ALL in here with us.  One of the two cats on her lap, the other in a chair and the dogs under the table on which I’m perched. Sometimes the stripy cat hangs around my cage hoping I’m not going to eat all the food She gives me. If I don’t want it I store it in the bowl. I demand to be fed by hand which She does but actually I’m quite capable of feeding myself which I do when She’s not looking.

I’m trying out new foods.
Apart from the dog food my favourites are
sprouting beans.
seeded bread
and banana! I love bananas! I think I could live on bananas.

She’s given me a little ball which I like to kick around my cage. Sometimes I move it with my beak, sometimes with my feet. It’s fun. I think this might be called football.

I think I’ve settled in quite well. I get a bath everyday in the small horses water bowl. I like this – I can strut around and shake my feathers and I can get my whole head under the water. The great thing is I can see myself in the mirror if I stand on the top perch. I know it’s me and not another jackdaw because I am a very intelligent bird.

BUT sometimes She’ll come in wearing a RED TOP!!!!! aaaargh! This makes me go crazy. I don’t think She should be wearing it- it doesn’t suit her. She came in wearing a coat yesterday which was just as bad. It took me ages to calm down. Now I notice if She’s got that red top on She’ll take it off and put her normal top on before She comes in to my room - which makes me happy.

I’ve found the way to her heart.
When I see her I make a little chirrping noise, lift one wing up and waggle my tail.
I’m just flirting with her but She always smiles when I do it and coos back at me.
I think we are friends.

Peas!!! I love peas! I think I could live on peas. And what’s more I can eat them myself out of the bowl and don’t need to be fed them by hand. Actually I’ll admit it – I am eating by myself though I do still like to have someone put it straight into my mouth.

I’ve found a new trick. I am silent, watching her write and every time She turns to look my way I’ll make some sort of greeting. Now – if I rattle one of the food trays She turns to look at me – so just for fun I keep rattling the tray! It’s very funny.

Here is Pocket contemplating if to come back as a horse in his next life. Certainly not a pheasant.
I have no feelings for pheasants, there are hundreds of them round here for the wretched shooting season and I've always thought them rather stupid birds. But today I was driving back along the track and I saw that the gamekeeper had dropped twelve of them off along the drove. The shooting season is about to start and these are young pheasant that he has been raising and he's obviously leaving them all over the place. I felt such sadness for them. They didn't know where they were or what they were doing. They all huddled together and just ran along in front of the car. None of them attempted to fly and it was a sad sight. They call this sport. It won't be too long before the gamekeeper will be given permission to shoot the buzzards down like they are over the grouse shooting moors.
I have put this Thomas Hardy poem up before but it sums it up. Here it is again Dear Reader - to save you the trouble of trying to find it.

The Puzzled Game Birds.

They are not those who used to feed us
when we were young - they cannot be -
These shapes that now bereave and bleed us?
They are not those who used to feed us,
For did we then cry, they would heed us.
- If hearts can house such treachery,
They are not those who used to feed us
When we were young - they cannot be!

But as Beezle and  Einstein would say, "Only two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity."
 Pixie's interesting fact (see above for ref pic.) is that

A house fly hums in the key of F.

When people ask me what dogs I have and I say Beezle -  I always feel like that annoying bumper sticker people used to put on their beaten up cars - My Other Car is a Porsche.
and my other dog is a wolfhound.

As there is no picture of Beezle on this post here is a poem I wrote - inspired by him.


 Dog – what shall I give you?

A new heart?
You’ve used your old one till it must burst
so full of love and missings
Dog – what will I give you?
At least one new leg?
Shattered and splintered and stitched
it’s carried you over the stubble
the flint and the chalk as if
you stepped only on gold.
Dog – what can I give you?
New eyes? Now clouded they’ve
seen things too swift for people like me
to even give a name to
Dog – what could I give you?
A new tail?
Yours has wagged and pointed and spun
for all those dog years.
I’ll give you a new tail to steer

you into the next time.