An elusive and imagined enemy

As I was making my coffee, while waiting for my toaster to deliver my breakfast, I heard a little tap, tap … tap, tap … on the kitchen window. I looked and was surprised to find a tiny bird (finch?) fluttering against the window, while tapping on it. It took me a while (as an ‘owl’ I am not very bright first thing in the morning) to realise that the tapping was not a message for me in Morse (I would not have understood that anyway). This tiny bird was attacking an intruder in its territory (but which was hiding behind a pane of glass).

Feeling sorry for the little fellow, I placed my palm against the glass. Denied sight of its adversary, it flew back to the shrubbery, which normally could harbour a small variety of little birds.

To my surprise, while reading the newspaper and crunching on the toast, the little fellow came back. I wondered: it either has a good memory, or it is being driven by a high level of testosterone (as most active male persons are – including the great hunters of Narooma, the fishermen). I also understood the little bird’s frustration. The interloper was most persistent in its challenge; every change in direction was followed most accurately. Every attack was reciprocated.

To relieve my new friend of its anxiety or anger, I waved the newspaper at the window to deny it the image it was attacking. That worked. It went back to the shrubbery.

To my great surprise, it came back a little later. Had it been sitting in the shrubbery thinking ‘I’ll get that bum yet?’ These little fellows do not obviously tolerate interlopers; and they do not forgive. It was only the appearance of what must have seemed a threatening huge object – in the form of my open newspaper – which discouraged it at last!

For some obscure reason, the episode reminded me of NATO and the Taliban (sort of).

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