Friday, July 14, 2006
A deep sense of something or other
After a vigorous afternoon's weeding in the shaded parts of my garden, I sat on my patio, also shaded, and with a glass of Orvieto's finest abboccato in my hand, enjoyed the twittering of a Linnet atop the huge ash that grows at the bottom of my garden. Twitter away, little cock linnie, I thought, it's a sight and sound to warm an old man's cockles. Then, my eye caught a movement in the foliage behind the bird. The next thing I see is a Sparrowhawk making off with my cock linnie in his talons. I accept the right of big birds to catch and eat little birds, but why couldn't he have settled for the House Sparrows coughing and retching in the shrubbery? I was overcome with a deep sense of something or other.
On the low wall of my patio, I have two bird tables, on which I from time to time scatter some tempting Tescos oatflakes. Only from time to time, though, because the Blackbirds, who are my prime customers, are quickly ousted by the bully boys of the birding world, Starlings. Damn them. This afternoon, as I looked out of my kitchen window, I saw a solitary male Starling, a superb, irridescent Beau Brummell of a bird, chomping at the oats. He had only one leg. Then, a young Blackbird, still scruffy in his natal body plumage, arrived and drove the Starling away without difficulty, showing no respect for age, irridescence or disability. Normally, of course, I cheer for the blackbirds, but on this occasion I was, well, overcome with another deep sense of something or other.
If it wasn't for an occasional glass of Orvieto's finest, I think I could become melancholy from a surfeit of paradoxes.