As my regular reader knows, I am not a great one for nature and my mistrust of birds verges on the phobic. An incident in the garden of Penman Towers has now made me even more scared and paranoid about the natural world than ever.
I trotted out to hang up some washing when there was a sudden commotion in a bush next to the washing line. A terrible screeching and beating of wings and then a mass of feathers, before a hawk appeared on the grass with a smaller bird in its claws.
I shouted and shooed, stamped my feet – and the hawk did not move. It stood there staring at me with the poor bird screeching beneath it. I had to run back in to dump the washing before going back out to try to scare it off. This time, I ran towards it and, still looking at me, it held its ground unflinchingly for a while before flying off. The unmoving bird was still on the grass.
Luckily, Mr P was in the house and may have realised something was happening due to the cries of “Help! There’s a massacre going on in the garden”, accompanied by hysterical sobbing. I asked him to retrieve the poor bird and, if necessary, administer life-saving treatment, even though I knew it had not moved after the incident.
He went out to the garden and, apart from a load of feathers, no dead bird. My theory is that the wicked hawk came back for the body, as the bird was certainly in no condition to fly away. How scary is that? I have always had a suspicion that birds are plotting against us. Have you seen the ones that gather together on telephone wires? They are definitely up to something.
I looked it up and it was a sparrowhawk. It haunts my dreams and has made me fearful of venturing into the garden in case I’m called on to try to intervene in any more life-or-death scenarios. No more nature for me, thank you very much.