THE BIRDS… BUT NOT THE FILM!
BY SANDRA HARRIS. ©
What’s with the birds lately? It’s getting so that you can’t even go into the park for a bite to eat on your lunch break these days without being targeted, surrounded and intimidated by about a million of the little blighters, all with their hard beady eyes on your grub. It happened to me earlier today.
I had a rare hour to spend by myself, with no boring, repetitive jobs to do, for once. I worked it out recently that life is just a meaningless round of boring, repetitive jobs (pay rent, pay bills, top up your phone, take out the bins, go to the dentist/doctor, call a plumber/electrician/pest exterminator/undertaker, etc.) that you do every single day until you die.
And you do have to do them, because that’s just the way life is, but the ironic thing is that, whatever form the afterlife takes, it probably won’t matter a jot there whether or not you have a good credit record or kept your car filled with petrol and your teeth free of cavities. Ah well. There’s not a whole lot we can do about any of it, strictly speaking. That would probably be an ecumenical matter.
Anyway, there I was in my lovely local park, sitting on a bench, thoroughly enjoying the late autumn sunshine and the nice breeze and the fact that I had a precious hour to spend on myself. I took my chicken-and-egg sandwich, lovingly made by human hands but, thankfully, not by mine, out of my bag and took a bite. Mmmm. Yummers.
I looked up and saw that I had company. A sole pigeon, looking at me in that lopsided way they have, as if to say: ‘Whatcha eating?’ Bugger off, I muttered, changing my fearsome scowl to a smile as an old lady passed by, a smile meant to convey that I would never do anything so vile as kick a poor defenceless bird, and I wouldn’t, of course. But to defend myself, or preserve the integrity of my sandwich, I’d knee Old Nick himself in the nuts. Some things are worth protecting.
Anyway, I took another bite or two and looked up again, this time to find that my audience of interested observers had increased to about seven pigeons, two magpies (two for joy, thank Christ! You don’t want to see just one of those guys.), one tiny robin and a small child. Worse still, bustling down the park towards me at top speed, with all the determined efficiency of a park warden who’s just caught someone entering the park after he’s rung the bell for ‘feck off!,’ was a seagull…
Now, these lads have the wingspan of a pterydactyl and they can even break a human arm in a fight over bread. Wait, now, actually, that might be swans I was thinking of there, or geese, but seagulls are still pretty terrifying, especially inner city ones who have grown used to the proliferation of food waste we humans leave around the beautiful city of Dublin nowadays. Those buggers are spoilt, that’s their problem.
The seagull barreled self-importantly up through the crowd of birds (the mother of the small child had by now yanked little Noah or little Saoirse away by the arm, with the enticing words, you’ve got your carrot cubes if you’re hungry, pet!) and stood in front of me, looking straight at me as if to say: ‘Now then, now then, what’s all this commotion?’ and, also: ‘Giz a bite of yer sambo!’
‘Go away!’ I pleaded. ‘I don’t have any food here.’
Desperately, I shoved the sandwich back in my bag, then, still hungry, I stuck my head in the bag and took a clandestine bite. The seagull narrowed his eyes suspiciously, not fooled for a single second by my silly subterfuge, then made a funny sort of seagull noise.
Every seagull covering the lunch shift in the park began to make its way to my bench on hearing his call. I sat, terrified, clutching my bag, praying for deliverance, but not the gap-toothed, banjo-duelling hillbilly kind.
It came in the form of one of those council worker-operated vacuum cleaner things. As it trundled past, making its usual unholy racket (no-one passing within a mile of these machines can hear themselves think), it scattered the massing birds to left and right. They squawked indignantly at being thus routed.
I took my opportunity to grab my food and scarpered, only stopping to turn around when I was well clear of the park. The birds had wandered off in search of other pickings, except for my scary seagull friend. See you next time, frail human, his eyes and menacing stance seemed to say. Not if I see you first, I mouthed back.
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY OF SANDRA HARRIS.
Sandra Harris is a Dublin-based novelist, poet, short story writer and film and book blogger. She has studied Creative Writing and Film-Making. She has published a number of e-books on the following topics: horror film reviews, multi-genre film reviews, women’s fiction, erotic fiction, erotic horror fiction and erotic poetry. Several new books are currently in the pipeline. You can browse or buy any of Sandra’s books by following the link below straight to her Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B015GDE5RO
Her debut romantic fiction novel, ‘THIRTEEN STOPS,’ is out now from Poolbeg Books.