Scaring Crows

Two big ugly black and white pied crows have taken up evening residence in the garden. They have clocked, because they are clever birds, that that’s when the dogs are fed. Hang around long enough, hovering hopefully, and the dogs, having picked all the meat out of their supper, leave the rice behind. They wander off then, and flop into the shade and the crows take over, pecking delightedly whilst perched cheekily on the edges of the dogbowls. I have urged my fat labrador Kanga, ‘Sa, sa!!’ but she looks at me disdainfully with liquid brown eyes as if to say, ‘Look honey, I am not going to deign to chasing crows’.

I describe my annoyance to the girls as we walk our splendid new verdant estate. And several hours later they constructed (under the nightwatchman’s nonplussed gaze) a solution to my avian pests.

He is called Senor Margherita. I don’t know why he’s wearing a beret. He should be Monsieur Escargot. Particularly given that he has a Gauloise hanging from his bottom lip. No matter his origin; he is very handsome (though not, obviously, in rugged Marlboro Man way). Albeit astonishingly short. The sign the girls have erected beside him reads WARNING: SMOKING STUNTS YOUR GROWTH. I feel they ought to exhibit some restraint regards their anti-smoking exercises, given what their father does for a living. Given that its the noxious weed that not only puts food on our table but that of the dogs as well. And the crows come to think of it.

They could also have warned: SMOKING GIVES YOU WRINKLES (look at his) or SMOKING CAUSES SUCH SERIOUS LACK OF OXYGEN THAT IT MAKES YOU BLUE IN THE FACE.

But they could also have written – and you must forgive me, it’s more than my (my husband’s actually) job’s worth not to offer some defence of the industry – SEE THE WORLD: SMOKE.

Come dawn though, and Senor M had clearly decided to kick the habit. Or perhaps somebody had hammered it out of him overnight? Orlanda maybe?(Orlando until we instructed the vet to pick his pockets only to discover, once under sedation that he was a she without pockets to pick and thus newly christened Orlanda) who perhaps offered to sit beside him in the morning sun  but only if he put his fag out in the dust first.

Which he obligingly did.

Frankly I couldn’t care whether he lights up or not. No long as he sees the wretched crows off.

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16 Responses to “Scaring Crows”

  1. Miranda Says:

    Ha! Thats hilarious!

  2. ann Says:

    Stone the crows (an old English saying).

  3. daisyfae Says:

    Love this – and the “globe” head! “Smoking – it enhances your world view”…

  4. Tash Says:

    smoking goes global – or do I mean ‘global warning’? This is one of your more brilliant recent pieces. But, I have to say – don’t castigate dem crows. I’ve filmed their brethren and they are SUCH intelligent birds – get to know them and they’ll become friends, not foe. Wonderful piece old thing… By the way – are those vertical wrinkles on your worldly friend caused by eyebrow threading under ze beret?

  5. Roberta Says:

    I’m howling at the shot of the scarecrow and the cat! Doesn’t seem a bit affected.

    This is adorable!

  6. Mud Says:

    Hopefully a good crow scarer as he is clearly not a cat scarer! Love the girls’ imaginations though!

  7. R. Sherman Says:

    The beret is nice touch. One of Sartre’s tomes in hand would have really done the job scaring away avian pests.

    Cheers.

  8. nuttycow Says:

    Poor old Senor Margherita (who named him? you or the girls? If them then I’d be a little worried about their love of tequila based drinks)

    I suppose with the new move you’ll have to start the grass battle all over again?

  9. janelle Says:

    heh heh heh heh heh!!!!! hic hic…XXXX

  10. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    Thank you Miranda.

    ann, perfect: wish I’d thought of that. Had it been a spliff, it could have been Stoned Crows? Or, more accurated, Stoned Scarecrow?

  11. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    daisyfae: absolutely, enhances your world view (whilst robbing you of your health, of course, not to say youthful albeit blue complexion).

    thanks Tash. that’s what husband says, ”very clever birds, don’t knock ’em”, which rather brings me back to ann’s stone the crows …

  12. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    no no no Tash, vertical likes aren’t result of threading: they’re the frown lines as scarecrow squints into sun scanning sky for crows. perhaps i ought to stick a pair of shades on him?

  13. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    No Roberta, cat not a bit affected, think it was waiting for scarecrow to reach down and stroke her. had she rubbed herself up against his legs, he’d have toppled over on top of her and given her a dreadful fright.

  14. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    Mud – no, he’s not is he. And not even a crow scarer I discovered last evening: in fact his presence seems to have encouraging all kinds of avian spectators, including ugly hawk. i imagine bush telegraph, or should that be bird telegraph? ”hey cop this garden out, they think a globe on a stick is going to scare us off dog food, what a laugh”!

  15. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    that’s a good idea, Mr Sherman: some ammo. as to the beret, it’s the only hat wear the girls could find that they could manipulate over his head.

    Nutty: the girls named him. after the pizza. not the drink. tut! As to the grass: yup, a long battle ahead of us. I long for rain. meantime we are living in a sandpit.

  16. reluctantmemsahib Says:

    glad you enjoyed it J. hope you’re well x

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