Sound of Silence-feathered edition

Hello darkness magpie my old friend,
I’ve you’ve come to talk with you peck at me again,
Because a vision softly creeping swooping,
Left its seeds imprint in my helmet while I was sleeping riding,
And the vision beak that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence pecking. *

Now lets set the record straight. I love springtime. I love the blooms. I love the smells. I love the feel, you can just feel when its Spring.

I love the butterfly’s and the bees and the flowers and the trees (and the moon up above) .Sigh.

Dang it, I even love the birds.

And, like a Shark attack victim who protests culling, each spring I turn a blind eye to the ruthless, stealth, overprotective feathered friends that share our town.

If your from Australia, you’ll know who I’m talking about.


Yes, the black and white Cerberus of the sky. But with only one head. And feathers.

Growing up, our Grandfather, our beloved Fardie,  would feed the Magpies and Butcher Birds from his veranda. They would come every day and he would have bacon rind or mince meat that he would throw to them, and eventually, hand feed to them.

They loved him (not as much as we did), and we thought it was just fantastic.

Our father took this habit home, and eventually we had Magpies and Butcher Birds visiting every day. Dad would buy mince especially for them, and if he wasn’t on time, they’d come inside looking for him.

We were also a haven for lorikeets and Dad would leave honey soaked bread out for them to gorge on whilst they faught and squabbled on our lush green lawn.

Man we had a good lawn.

Anyway, like Fardie, the birds loved Dad.

Us? Well not so much. They would eat from our hands, but timidly, reluctantly, like they were only doing it because Dad wanted them too. The trust just wasn’t there.

Each year as Spring would approach, I’d have a conversation with these birds, something along the lines of:

Me– “Hey there Maggie, back again ay?”

Magpie- Blank stare

Me– “Listen, just wanna have a talk with you about Spring. I see it’s coming up. The weathers turning nice and my birthdays getting close, and anyway, I was thinking, maybe this year, seeing as you kinda forgot last year, I was thinking, maybe you could put the call out and, I don’t know, maybe STOP TRYING TO PECK THROUGH MY FREAKING SKULL EVERY FREAKIN DAY”

Magpie– Blank stare

Magpie- Quiet Warble**

Now, this warble, I took as consent. As a sort of ” Of course young man-child, your Father takes care of me and my young every year, feeding us and petting us, and I can tell how much you love animals and we all think your awesome.”

What he meant was “Look at you small man-child with your parted hair and your Hayley’s Comet T-shirt. We’re here for the meat, not to make friends. Now hand over the mince and maybe I wont peck your eyes out. On second thought………….”

I’d head off to school or the park or the pool (in a town surrounded by bush, all locations, and all routes were vulnerable to attack), cocky, wearing a great big shiny force field of false security.

I’d laugh while others were attacked, perhaps even utter how fortunate I was because the Magpies were my friends. We feed them. They love us.

No maám. No love for the little blond girl just trying to get to swimming training.

Just when you think you’ve got it made, your through the zone unscathed, there comes the tell-tale sound of terror.

If you’ve never been swooped, I’ll try to relay the experience to you.

Your riding along. Eyes darting too and fro. You can’t see a Magpie. Maybe he’s sleeping. Maybe he’s busy attacking someone else. Most likely he’s keeping up to his end of the deal, after all you fed him just yesterday.

Then, It’s quiet.

Too quiet.

And,,,,,,,,,,,,,well, if you’re wearing a cap right now, take it off, hold it by the brim, and flap it up and down hard next to your ear.

There, that’s the sound.

Consequently that’s also the hilarious trick stupid boys used to play all through September. Real funny boys.

Stupid boys.

Follow the flapping with mad hammering on your helmet. That’s if you’re wearing a helmet. If not, have someone throw a pebble at your head. From close up. A bunch of times.

There, that’s the feeling.

Now this is simply the story of Spring in Australia. It happens every year, and will continue to do so forever. It doesn’t last long and they’re only protecting their babies. It appalls me when people tease them, and I wish nothing but terrible things upon people who kill them.

Mind you, myself, and my kids have never been hurt. Just freaked out.

It’s an adrenalin rush like no other.

And now, as I get back to my routine, my daily ride to the pool is once again fraught with Springtime paranoia, humiliation, elation and giggles.

Riding away after yet another pecking, I laugh as I’m taken back to little me waving my towel over my head yelling “We had a deal Maggie!!!!!”

Magpie– Evil Warble


Note to self, and everyone. Zip ties don’t work. Or maybe they lessened the attack. Just to be sure, I’m leaving them on till November. Even though my sister refuses to speak to me anymore. Judge me all you will. Fashion has never been a friend of mine.

*If this makes no sense to you, Google Simon and Garfunkel-Sound of Silence. Great song.

**noise a magpie makes



5 thoughts on “Sound of Silence-feathered edition

  1. Lauri

    haha I never really minded the old Maggie BUT since being the postie I have 7, yes 7 on my run here in Gracemere and now my fondness has turned into 3 stages.
    stage 1. Terror, but wearing a motorbike helmet lessened the force on my head but the old maggie just about knocks himself unconcious trying to steer me away from his/her babies
    stage 2. Protest, trying to outwit the little bugger ducking weaving and every once and a while waving mail above my head trying to deter it.
    stage 3. aceptance, so everyday all 7 maggies beat down on my helment and that terrible squark in my ear with the feathers touching my neck and I just ride along, face shield down just praying for the end of maggie season.
    people driving past laughing and coming up with ways of trying to help me, all I want is for it to END…lol
    love your blog Alaina you bring my childhood back and I thank you for it xx



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