By Jac Dowling
Penny’s delightful hahahadeda piece set me thinking. Actually it did more than that because my thought process has been somewhat somnolent lately. It sent me to the garage in search of brooms, brushes, rakes, squeegees and feather dusters – here’s why:
We have twelve pillars (of wisdom, naturally – or was that seven?) around the stoeps of our house, all of which are adorned with ramparts of pigeon spikes, ostensibly to deter amorous and sleeping/messing pigeons. Ha. Not so. They love our spikes and snuggle down between them, usually making an untidy nest in the process, plight their various troths, lay eggs and start all over again. Their amorous serenades are anything but musical and, when the crescendo arrives I sprint (?) outside waving towels, jumpers, trousers…whatever’s lying around, and threaten them with dire consequences. They fly up out of reach and start all over again. Hence the garden equipment. Except that today I discovered that they love sitting on broom bristles – clearly they do not have delicate derriéres. So now we have boxes, bricks and styrofoam on three pillars, a rake, crutch and broom on another, two old brooms and a mop on the next and so ad inf.
But, it’s not only pigeons that haunt our maison. Two amorous starlings have latterly been removing mud and moss, wet and smelly, from the gutter and assembling it in the most arbitrary fashion among the tools and spikes – the mess is awful. So, I tried soaking birdseed in vinegar and putting it out for them, loved it, ate every last seed – and returned. No sign of indigestion or discomfort, if anything it spurred them on to even greater efforts. So, as things stand, if any cleaning within or without the house is required, we hasten to the pillars for the necessary utensil, use it and return to site asap. Job done.
So, Penny, your dawn chorus is more than welcome on our stoeps and, if anyone has an antidote to the aforementioned pesky birds, please let’s have it. Don’t even think of suggesting ear-plugs or ignore! I’m about to venture forth with a bullwhip, if I can find one and risk being reported to the SPCA or relevant pigeon/starling protection unit. I also have to attend to a spot of avian incest taking place in the bird-bath.
Don’t you dare laugh. We are no longer amused…