Monday, December 12, 2005

how many calling birds?

If you want calling birds, you should come to my place in the morning. There's loads of 'em. Now I like nature and all that, but it can be way loud. I went to bed with the windows and curtains open - not for the purposes of executing a hideous exhibitionistic display in my sleep, but in the hope that the cold air would wake me up early - and awoke to a full on bitch fight between two crews of swans on the river below. There were some of those pointy faced birds - Cormorants, I am told by some David Attenborough types I know - hanging around the edges, egging them on, I fear. You could tell is was serious - one of the swan's was doing that whole wings-scrunched-up-I can-break-a-man's-arm-with-one-beat-of-my-wings-type-thing and one of the other swans was paddling around it, going all like, 'but I'm not even a man so I'm so not scared of your arm-breaking capacity'. It was very tense for a while.

I remember getting stern lectures from teachers and parents while watching nature documentaries as a child. 'No,' they would say, 'the camera men and Mr Attenborough can't save the tiny, struggling, cute zebra/meerkat/antelope from the jaws of of the savage and ruthless lion/panther/buzzard. That would be interfering with nature and that is a bad thing because nature should not be interfered with - it has to take it's course. It is their solemn responsibility to document nature and not intervene. The cute zebra/meerkat/antelope would die were the cameras not there, so it should still die. It does not make Mr Attenborough an evil sadist who does not care for the cute animals. It means he cares enough not to disturb the wise and sage course of nature. And by the way, who taught you to say twat and do you really know what it means, because if you did, I don't think you would say it, do you?'

Well. There were no teachers or parents this morning, so I got a bread roll from the kitchen, tore it up, threw it in the river and created a diversion. Problem solved. Everyone happy. No bickering swans, comorants got the scraps, no one got hurt. Nature well and truly interfered with. According to chaos theory, that probably means there will be a mild zephyr to the west of the Lebanon or something. Little I care.

On a serious note, I do sometimes worry about how we will all cope when David Attenborough dies. He means much more to us all than Princess Diana or George Best, or even the Queen Mother. When did any of them play with gorillas or teach us about what goes on inside a bat's ear? Never. That's when.

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