Our visiting magpie, Maggie (very innovative name!), frequently dices with death in between her demands for food at our back door. She first appeared last year as a young, still fluffy chick, squawking loudly behind mum and dad as they tentatively approached our back door for food. She learnt quickly and before long it was Maggie making herself known at the door, then calling to her parents as soon as she’d conned me into providing yet another meal.
Then she disappeared for a few days and I found myself searching the tree branches and roof top for the familiar winged figure. Finally she reappeared, hunched over, sporting a huge wound on the back of her head and her wings drooping. I wondered if she would survive but she grew stronger every day and was soon back to her old cheeky self, albeit with a scar to show for whatever adventure she’d had.
A few months ago she had an encounter with my son’s dog Bella when she came as usual to the back door not knowing I was sitting my grand-dog. She ended up on the kitchen window sill with most of the ornaments in the sink and our wireless internet gadget at the bottom of a saucepan I’d left soaking. Fortunately, she let me pick her up and take her outside and the internet gadget did eventually dry out. She was a little more careful after that until Bella returned home.
Disaster struck again about a month ago when Maggie appeared limping, one leg dragging behind her and looking rather sorry for herself. After a couple of weeks she was able to put the second leg to the ground again but I thought she’d be left with a limp. No…this week she seems to be walking perfectly and I wonder if she has a nest of young ones somewhere as she seems to be eating much more than usual.
Maggie loves to sit on the chain holding up the shade cloth over the dog pen and teases the almost blind April who can hear her but only senses movement. She dives down and steals the dog food when they aren’t looking (I do wonder if that’s why she ended up with her earlier injuries?) and any crumbs spilling from the chook pens. She serenades me from all corners of the yard and often follows me when I’m gardening, especially when there’s a juicy grub on offer.
Let’s hope she has nine lives, like a cat, because she seems to have used up three already and would be sorely missed if anything happened to her.
The October issue of Positive Words is filled with PET stories and poems, and I should warn that a box of tissues might be necessary for a couple of the tales 😦 Sure to strike a chord with pet-lovers and there are also a couple of surprises from writers who are not so fond of domesticated animals! If you would like a copy, please send $5.50 (unused stamps, cheque or money order) to Positive Words magazine, PO Box 798, Heathcote 3523, Victoria, Australia.