The night had been humid. Storms were expected. The windows were wide, devouring what cool air there was like a frog catching flies. Awoken by the rhythmic notes of bird song, I began to tune in to the regular tap-tapping I’d heard in the dawn hours over the past weeks. In that early morning dozing state, I dreamed that my neighbour was knocking at my door while his wife operated a pneumatic drill in the street.
I turned my back on the early morning sunshine, resisting a look at the clock, slipping easily back to sleep. The tap-tap, tap-tap invaded my slumber again, then – I heard something different, a scuffle, a screech. As I turned towards the sound, I saw the curtain shudder. It shook and heaved; it billowed as though the expected storm had finally arrived. But only one curtain moved, and there was no sound of wind or rain…there was something behind the curtain…
The gutteral cry had me out of bed, slipper at the ready. However, even at that early hour and in that drowsy state, I considered the mess I’d have to clear up if I did batter something, and with common sense in the ascendant, clarity naturally followed.
I cut off the invader’s progress by pulling the curtain taut. Having nowhere to go it began to reverse and with my slipper (a Great British Slipper at that) I firmly forced the interloper back towards the open window. The struggle was swift but sure and supremacy was finally mine as I slammed the window against the dangers of the night.
You may have read and been reassured by this article Magpies don’t like shiny objects but, for the record, I have now moved the silver-plated trinket box, the earrings and the silver rose vase off the window sill (though I’d love to have seen it try to make off with even one of these items). However, you’ve no doubt also heard of The Birds. Never mind Bodega Bay. Tell your friends. It happened right here. In my bedroom.