Living the Dream: Squawk from the haystack

editorial image
Have your say

Due to the weather getting colder, I’ve once again become acquainted with an old friend. Many months ago, in fact probably over 18 months, we had a bit of a to do, on the farm. We had brought in pest control to take care of any unwanted visitors, before the grand opening of the teashop.

Well, in my wisdom, I thought it wise to do my part in eradicating these furry little fellas from around the place and so I sited my own traps around the farmyard.

Things were working very well and numbers were being drastically reduced over several weeks, with the joint efforts now in operation, but then the hand of fate was dealt. As I was walking through the barn I could hear a very strange sound, almost a squeal, but yet not, it was like the stifled sound of a squawk. I went over to investigate to see if I could see what was making this ever so strange sound from behind the haystack.

As I got closer and closer to the noise, there was an additional sound of flapping now coming from the same area. It wasn’t long before I turned the corner and witnessed for myself exactly what or who was creating all this commotion.

It was in fact a male blackbird who had unfortunately been sticking his beak into areas which he now wished he’d not gone anywhere near.

The rat trap had him pinned down by his head and as a result, regardless of how much he had tried, he could not release himself from the grip of this devilish mechanism.

Well, that’s where I came in. Sooner than you can blink, he was free to fly away, but before I released him to do just that I gave him a quick once over to make sure there wasn’t any lasting damage to him. It appeared that although I couldn’t see any lasting damage at this stage, I could see that he now proudly wore a scary looking scar across the side of his face, where the trap had been pinning him down.

I opened my hand and after a brief moment, which was when I decided upon a name for him, he flew up on to a rafter in the top of the barn, where he sat for a short while. I’m sure he was just composing himself after his unfortunate ordeal.

Since then I have seen many blackbirds come and go, as we have many around the farm and I have often wondered if any of them was ‘Splat’ who I met that late spring day.

So, anyway, recently, I’ve noticed that the local birds have been keen to pick up any additional grub as and when they can around here. Just as it was becoming light, I unlocked the barn and made my way through to go feed the cows. I opened the back door of the barn, and out of the darkness, a male blackbird immediately flew through the ever widening gap as the sliding door opened and up on to the very same spot in the rafters that I had last seen ‘Splat’.

As it was as dark as it was, I couldn’t really see a lot and so turned all the barn lights on to get a better view of this little fella. I placed some mixed corn on the top of the quad seat and stood back.

Only seconds later he was down having his breakfast and indeed it was ‘Splat’, with his Pirate Jack scar still visible and he’s been back for a sing song every morning since.