Walking down the road, hurrying faster than my little feet could take me, heading bus-ward, the background chatter of the happy little tweety-birds suddenly leaped to the fore. A desperate panicked tweet of a bird in danger captured my attention and I scanned the area for the poor soul in need of my help. A little thrush songbird struggled on its back, using its legs to fight off the vicious onslaught of a territorial magpie. The magpie pecked, nipped and put the boot in. A second thrush danced around helplessly trying to fend off the magpie; to protect its friend or lover from imminent death.
As I walked passed my footfall sent the magpie up into the air in a temporary semi-retreat. The thrush couldn’t capitalise and continued to panic on its back, and the persistent and brutal magpie came straight back. The prolonged torture of the helpless little songbird continued. I put my foot down; the heavy stomping of Doc Martin against paving slab put the magpie up on the roof. Its machine-gun screech soared above the prettily tragic little warbles of the injured songbird. A second magpie signalled its annoyance from further down the street.
Desperate flapping, hopping and limping turned the thrush into a dervish ball of feathers frantically fighting against being floored. Its struggle to stand was as clumsy as my overlong alliteration. Continuing on to catch my bus, I felt as though I had done my bit, but deeper I conceded the thrush had probably seen its last morning. My parents always hated magpies in their garden, claiming they killed the pretty songbirds. This is the first time I ever saw the genocide in action. I always assumed they ate the little birdies, but I think now it’s just a territorial defence. But that doesn’t excuse such behaviour. A message to the magpies: if you kill it, you should eat it.
The noise of a magpie will wake you up; it's scattergun screaming will not be a gentle lull into awakening, but a harsh jilt into an unwanted early start. The nightmares will go on and on. And now, alas, I have no news on the life or death status of that plucky little song thrush, but I know you all wish it well. I wonder if it's still there, and how easy it would be to make a pie out of.