Wednesday, February 15, 2023


The first time I saw magpies was in a Chinese painting, so I knew what they looked like. The second time was at the edge of the airfield in Asia. Cheeky fellows. The third time was in England, several years ago. They were rambunctiously occupying the garden in Chingford. And I've heard that there is a type of magpie here in North America.
Haven't seen them. Crows, yes. Their kin.

The Oriental Magpie (喜鵲 'hei jeuk') is considered a bringer of luck, happiness, and teeth (it's complicated). It's smaller cousin, the Magpie Robin (鵲鴝 'jeuk keui') has no such baggage. It's smaller, more lively, and has a lovely tweet.

Jack told me that if I went into the woods to do my busines, I should be damn' quick about it, otherwise they'd come up and peck me there. What with being curious birds, often interested in bugs and other nasty wrigglesome things. Always hungry!

I should have told him my privates weren't nasty, and he had no business judging them thus, having never seen them or any other Caucasian testicles. Crazy old Fujianese fart!
But I held my tongue, as I am by nature a polite and diplomatic man.
And I respect my elders, even when they're drunk.
And there was a loo in the airside maintenance area anyway.

He was probably confused in any case.

Probably all the fumes he'd breathed in at the runway, it may have addled his brain. It seems like everything involved in aviation is high lead, or high brain rot chemicals, or volatile and corrosive to the interior organs. Aside from being hard and dangerous at close quarters. Wouldn't be surprised if the oysters he ate so often had worrisome levels of mercury.

Corvids are among the most intelligent of birds, and very likeable. They're very confident about their right to occupy the sidewalk, albeit pragmatic; you are bigger, so they'll amskoot when you get too close. But they know that you didn't want that chicken McNugget anyhow, and they found it, so it's theirs. Now move a little faster, biped, I'm hungry!
Go on, shoo!

For some reason they look guilty when stealing another bird's eggs.
Like they were caught out engineering a dastarly plot.
It's incredibly likeable behaviour.
Stupid pigeons.

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