I was just thinking to myself today, how on earth have l let the wildlife of Australia manipulate me. So far l have been conned by two Australian Wood ducks and a magpie (which in a short period of time turned into a flock.)
Let me explain! Last year, l took pity on a lonely squawking wood duck which was precariously balanced on my back fence whilst eye balling our swimming pool. Little to my knowledge once she had established a firm connection with my softer side and could guarantee a daily feed and me withdrawing all chlorine from the pool, with the weak excuse that we were going to empty it as it needed repainting, did this little ducky decided it was good enough to introduce her mate. Not such a bad deal, you might think. All l can say is several loaves of bread later and constant clearing up of duck poop, l definitely need to establish some rules about what moves into my garden.
Now l think my husband is a patient man ( he lives with me for a start) but lets just say, a repaint got done a lot sooner than anticipated. Neverless to say the ducks were not impressed by an empty pool and without so much as a goodbye squawk, never returned. Happy hubby, repainted pool and no more scrubbing duck poop.
Then somewhere in the animal kingdom, the word got round that there was this person, who was kinda soft in the head and if you look pitiful enough, she will provide all year round and even make sure that your favourite kind of food is available. This is where l got involved with the magpie. OK so fair enough, she was only a baby and been kicked out of home and l doubt if nature would have let her survive. That's why mother nature has mugs like me.
This was about six months ago and our relationship is going strong as ever. Even the dog comes to get me when Trouble (yes l named her) thuds like a baby elephant on our patio roof and squawks her little head off. More disconcerning that she has picked up the ability to bark like a high pitched throttled dog, followed by a continuous broken screech. More to the point, other magpies mysteriously appeared and it can be quite a shock to hear the approach of flapping wings, only to be confronted by a dozen beady eyes. All was well amongst these feathered friends and all got fed. The household joke was that if all else failed, l could always become like the bird lady, always surrounded by birds in a park. Sounds like a scene from Home Alone 2.
As winter becomes a distant memory, maggie still comes for her treats, but now there are two more baby maggies that shyly look over the patio roof and watch how daintily she plays my heart strings. These two new ones are totally uncouth and need serious reprimanding on their table manners, but its nice to see maggie with company for a while. With her battle scars, l doubt very much she will be attracting a mate any day soon, unless he likes them rough around the edges.