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Alfred Hitchcock would have shat himself
Damn Astronaut!
erika_sanely
So this morning I got chased by a magpie. Which, summer in Australia is pretty much par for the course. Being swooped by a breeding magpie is a rite of passage, and there's not a child around who hasn't worn an ice-cream container on their heads that their mum/dad/responsible adult has drawn eyes on.

However!!! (And have you ever noticed how often my stories have a However!! attached to them?? I'm not sure I like being the However!! girl.)

Where was I?? Ah yes; However!! This morning I was chased by a bird. Not swooped by a bird; chased. There he was; the magpie. He was on the football oval, digging for some sort of insect out of the ground. There I was; iPod cranking something I sure would be too embarrassing to mention here while I walk across the footy oval. I kept an eye on all birds around the area, I was alert but not alarmed. And then he saw me. And he wasn't happy. He was baying for blood. Preferbely scalp, as all magpies find this the tastiest of flesh. But, instead of swooping he got his short, stumpy, legs moving and RAN after me. You would think that a bird running after you would be hilarious, but it is not. A bird with murder in it's mind is a single-minded creature and - as I believe of all animals - can smell fear. And they run way faster than you would originally expect.

So I did what any sane person would do; while going backwards so I always knew where the bird was, I attempted speed walking. On one hand, I didn't fall over (which for me, is always the sign of a good day). On the other... a magpie found me to be that much not a threat he couldn't be bothered to fly to chase me.

I feel slightly, um, slighted, by the avian community.

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(Deleted comment)
Oh, I know I got off lucky. Maybe he had just eaten a lot and didn't think he could get off the ground, which is why he decided to run.

Or maybe the bird was playing with me. And when I walk across the football field today he's gonna finish me off.





I'm being dense. ;-)

Being swooped by a breeding magpie is a rite of passage, and there's not a child around who hasn't worn an ice-cream container on their heads that their mum/dad/responsible adult has drawn eyes on

Is this for protection or attraction?'

That's not being dense; that's living in a land where birds aren't vicious creatures who want you dead. I envy you. :-) (Also, you always have the most appropriate icons!)

It's a two-pronged source of protection:

1) the ice-cream container gives you a little bit of protection, so that when you get swooped, the magpie doesn't hit your skull and make you bleed.
These days parents get their kids bike helmet and loop cable ties on them to make the helmet spiky. So if the birds attack there's a chance be scared off by the spikiness. And would won't die of humiliation from wearing an ice cream container.

2) Rumour has it that if a magpie can see your eyes, they won't strike. So if you have eyes drawn on the back of your head they won't attack you.

Sometimes it works. Sometimes the bird is that angry and protective of its nest it doesn't make a difference. And sometimes your mum/dad/responsible adult just wants to see what your level of embarrassment is willing to put up with for your own safety.

Edited at 2012-01-23 06:52 pm (UTC)

It wasn't a zombie magpie, by any chance? ::dun dun duuuunnnn::

Oh god, I hadn't even thought of that!! And they have such tiny heads!! I couldn't hit that if my life depended on it,

So. Doomed.

No worries! You'll just have to let it get very, very close to you first. ::eg::

This only cements my belief that birds are evil creatures. I would have freaked and screamed MY GOD WHAT DO YOU WANT MAGPIE I HAVE NOTHING TO GIVE YOU DON'T EAT MEEEEEEEEE or something.

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