Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Day in the Life of a Castaheany Crow

According to the adage, the early bird catches the worm. Not any old worm, mind you, but The Worm. The veritable King of the Underground Wriggly Things. The Worm to whom all other worms pay homage. He lives in a back garden in Deerhaven, apparently, but no matter what time you get up, you can’t catch him, despite what the adage asserts.
Occasionally, though, I try my luck, and today was one of those days. The fledglings were awake half the night, so at crack of dawn, I gave the missus a peck on the cheek to wake her up, and flew off to Deerhaven to chance my wing. I needn’t have bothered. Place was swarming with sparrows, squawking and squabbling over the skinniest daddy-long-legs. Even the densest, stupidest worm wouldn’t come to the surface with that racket going on, never mind el Honcho.
Flew lazily back to my tree in Littlepace. Kids awake again and screaming for their grub. Luckily it was Monday – never understood what Bob Geldof was rabbiting on about. Mondays are the best day of the week. Mondays are the new Saturday.
From my perch I could see many humans, attired in varying amounts of clothing, performing the weekly ritual of dragging their wheelie bins to the roadside. Yum! Yum!
Some of the ravens – particularly the younger ones – are wont to complain about humans. They claim they are selfish and pay scant regard to environmental concerns. In my experience, the reverse is true.
When bin day comes around, the selflessness of some humans brings a little glow to my heart. Many of them deliberately fill their bins to overflowing, leaving the lids ajar. They obviously don’t mind theirs and their neighbours’ gardens ending up strewn with debris from our scavenging. Their viewpoint must be that it’s a small price to pay to ensure that the local crow population is well-nourished.
Descended on a bin in Hazelbury and proceeded to go to town on it. Russell helped me out. He hasn’t changed a bit since he made it big in Hollywood. Still the wild one, always boozing and looking for a scrap. Well, we found plenty of scraps in the bin today! Russell showed some great artistic flair by decorating the front lawn with used teabags, as a thank you to the owners for their largesse.
Brought plenty of titbits back to the avian rubbish compactors at home. Despite the fact they’re constantly ravenous, they still complain about their meals, and absolutely refuse to eat carrots and peas. They have it too easy, if you ask me. There’s poor jackdaws in the Sahara would be grateful for a nice pea.
Decided to spend the rest of the morning playing chicken with the traffic on the Blanchardstown by-pass. Sheryl joined me. She was worried that she was straying too far from her country and western roots, but I told her, hey, pop music brings home the bacon. Actually, she looked a bit overweight, probably from pigging out on all that bacon.
The game involves strutting along the inner lane of the dual carriageway in a totally unconcerned fashion. Then watching the look of growing horror on the faces of the speed junkies bearing down on you at 80mph, thinking they’re about to turn you into strawberry jam. At the last moment, you casually sidle back onto the safety of the centre partition. It does be great fun, although Sheryl’s currently working on a ballad about an old crow with failing judgement, who didn’t correctly gauge the speed of an approaching Toyota Corolla.
That whiled away a few enjoyable hours, and when we got tired, we flew over to the Littlepace Shopping Centre Car Park to do a spot of synchronised target practice. Of course, it kind of takes the sporting element out of it, when the cars are so tightly congregated, but at least it helps to get it out of your system. The ravens deliberately pick out the Mercs and Beamers, but hey, a car’s a car. I always like to spread my talents as widely as possible. Naturally, I’m not quite as proficient as in the days when I got a bronze medal in the Olympics, but I can still hit the front windscreen of a Fiat Punto at an altitude of 200 feet.
My favourite time of the day is when these humans arrive home from work. I judge it to perfection. They go in through the hall door, and I give them enough time to kick off their shoes, go to the toilet, make themselves a cup of tea and sit down in a comfortable armchair in front of the early evening news. Then I start to caw irritatingly down the chimney at them. Sometimes, if I get no reaction, I drop small bits of grit and seeds down the flue where they land like bullet shots on the hearth. The language can be very colourful, ascending with venom up the chimney, though it always amazes me that they assume I can understand Anglo-Saxon English.
Met Glenn on the way back to the tree. Still a potent force with Bohemians, though he says he’s not getting as much supply from the wing these days. He’s excited at the prospect of playing against Effana Cuckoo.
With dusk rapidly approaching, it was time for our party piece. A load of us flocked together – as birds of a feather are wont to do - and sat in a long, silent line along the front gutter of someone’s house. Then when they arrived home, we just stared at them silently. Fair freaked them out, especially as “The Birds” was on the telly recently.
There was just enough time then to get back to the tree before the little ‘uns settled down for the night. I like to spend a bit of quality time with them, before they ascend the pecking order and fly the nest. Of course, the missus had been cooped up with them for most of the day, and she was like a raven lunatic. Accused me of feathering my own nest, which was a bit unfair, in my opinion. After all, many birds consider being able to provide for such a large family something to crow about.

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