Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The sad story of the blackbird

One evening last October I came home from work and was opening the back door to get in when I nearly tripped over a female blackbird huddled on the doorstep, her feathers ruffled and not looking at all well. Panicking that she'd jump inside, I shut the door quickly and went in the front door instead.
When my dear husband returned an hour later, I asked him to go and see if she was still there. Yes she was and she was clearly unwell. He took out a saucer of water and some bread for her. Two hours later she was still there. We called the RSPCA for advice. They said it was very common for birds to shelter on doorsteps for warmth in the autumn and to call again in the morning if she was still there.
The following morning I went out of the house through the front door and went round to the back: hurrah, she'd gone! I was reversing my car out and then I noticed her in the headlights. She was in the corner of the courtyard, looking perkier than the previous night. I got out of the car and approached her. She was not amused and hopped towards me, head down, squawking at the top of her voice.
I was worried about her because my neighbour has two vicious cats and it didn't look as if she was up to flying. Anyway, I left her and was driving away when I happened to see my gardener. I told him the story and he promised to take her away from my garden in order to save her from the cats.
When I got home from work that evening there was no sign of her. Phew! I bumped into my gardener three days later. "So you found the bird?" I asked him. "Well..." he began, "I did go to look for her but couldn't see her. However, I did find her yesterday: near the rose bed, without her head."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sad but inevitable. Red in tooth and claw. Middle son's house in the Languedoc used to have a 24 hour nightingale but it too has vamoosed. And I believe that the blackbird's song is much more melodious than the nightingale's. There was a nightingale a couple of years ago near Ditchling.

9:59 am  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Greetings Portinari - hope you're enjoying this Indian summer! Sorry to hear about the nightingale. We don't have them, sadly.

8:43 am  
Anonymous Portinari said...

WW Have a great holiday if that is what you are up to. As for us - we wouldn't go foreign while this weather lasts. There is a rather sad poem in Irish which I leant as a child. In transliteration it is called, I think, 'An (the) londubh (blackbird) baite (drowned).' The drowned blackbird. Phoenetically perhaps = Un lunduve baaityer

9:58 am  
Blogger Winchester whisperer said...

Thank you, Portinari. The poor baite londubh!

9:04 am  

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