Friday, September 27, 2013

Angry bird

from here

Moses was attacked by a magpie yesterday. He was running ahead of me as we headed home from feeding the ducks when the magpie swooped him – my memory of the next few minutes is a blur that involves Moses screaming, me grabbing him, and the two of us trying to get away from the evil bird while it continued to hover a metre above us looking for ways to get past my frantically waving fist and peck at our eyeballs. 

For the whole time Moses wailed, “I DON’T LIIIIIIIIIKE THIIIIIIIIIIS!” while I tried unsuccessfully both to comfort him (“It’s okay, buddAAARGH!”) and convince Mrs Magpie to stop harassing us. During it all, 94% of me was totally in the moment, thinking things like, “Poor Moses!” and “What if he’s really hurt?” and “I want this to be over!” and “Aaaaaaaaaaaaargh!”, while the remaining 6% was imagining how amusing we must look from afar: me simultaneously ducking and running, holding my toddler in one arm and batting at the bird with the other, both of us hollering.

We got to what must have been the border of the magpie’s zone; she landed and we warily slowed to a walk. A couple of times she started towards us as if to take off and attack again, but I lunged at her each time with my finger pointed and my disciplining voice on “No! No more!” like she was a three-year-old child rather than an over-protective mother bird. She gave me a look that said, “Stay away from my babies, lady!” and I gave her a look that said, “YOU stay away from MINE!” and then she headed back to her tree to terrorise the next innocent passer-by, and Moses and I headed across the road to a bus shelter to sit down and recover.

Moses wasn’t badly hurt - he had a scratch on his cheek and one on his forehead, plus a small spot of blood on the top of his head. I thought magpies merely threatened violence – a beak snapped at your ear just to let you know they mean business; I nearly marched back and punched that bird when I realised she’d actually clawed my kid’s face. Alas, we had to get home for dinner (plus she was freaking scary and I’d lost enough dignity for the day).

Moses looked a bit too blasé in the first photo, so I told him to show me his sad face:
Mo's horrific injuries


  1. I'm sorry, but I'm laughing out loud!

  2. Argh, I hate magpies! Totally respect their desire to protect their young, but so scary when they swoop! When I was little there were magpies patrolling the route along which we cycled to school. Every spring they would swoop all the kids cycling to school - I still freak out when I think of that loud flutter of wings!

  3. I love that Mo's sad faces are always in the bath!!! this one, the lost tooth..... when he's a grown up and has to process emotions, he'll have to do it in the bath still, such is Pavlovian training. right?

    1. Oh my goodness, I hadn't noticed that before! It's TRUE! I think it's because he's trapped if he's in the bath; anywhere else, he tries to avoid the camera, but in the bath there's nowhere to run - mwahahaha!