Saturday, February 15, 2014

Privet Berries and Mockingbirds

The Close Mockingbird has his cough.  He sits on the Privet, spluttering, and this is not a throat clearing splutter, this is a whole body splutter that rattles. And I bleed for him in the foul weather he has recently endured. His feathers so puffed, I can hardly see his legs.  His head suddenly little. There was a time when I believed his cough a quality of some kind of infectious pox forced upon him by Sparrow, many of whom will go milky eyed as winter enters mid February and everyone starts getting worked up because sap is rising.

 More recently, I have come to a conclusion that his cough is a reaction  to a scarcity of food that forces him to eat the berries of Privet.  Down yonder all the Privet berries are gone, but the Close Mockingbird's  Privet bush has a plenty, which he has defended against even the curious.  He is not remotely interested in me, which does mean I am able to get near to him, and his eyes look fine, his feathers in excellent condition. I have from time to time thought about cultivating maggots for him to eat, but there has always been a somewhat vociferous reaction to this suggestion from shoe wearing members of our community..

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