Bye Bye Blackbird

There are certain things you’d be happy to see as you descend the stairs first thing in the morning.

The constituent parts of something black and feathery strewn liberally across the carpet is not one of them.

(Had it been the constituejuno the catnt parts of Fearne Cotton, the day would have immediately taken on a rosier hue.)

This gruesome Airfix kit (instructions not supplied) had been delivered to me courtesy of the proudly-grinning murder machine sitting atop the kitchen table like the Bernard Matthews of garden birdlife. It looked as though, in a fit of feline devil-may-care japery, the cat had simply bunged a crow in a blender.

When faced with this situation, the true man has one immediate course of action. And that is to call an estate agent, because selling the place seems infinitely preferable to dealing with the carnage.

But the market being what it is, a second option presented itself: leaving the house instantly to conduct urgent business having ‘not noticed’ the one billion (approx.) feathers coating three rooms of the house like avian Axminster. After all, a problem that someone else has to deal with ceases to be a problem.

Option three – a long overland trek to Venezuela, departure time: forthwith – was looking more and more attractive when things took a turn very much for the worse.

From underneath a cupboard came a cross between a moan and a cheep. A meep.

Rather than have the good grace to hide away and die, which would have allowed option four to swing into action (‘Can you smell something funny in here?’ ‘Well we did have that rather runny brie…’) the poor benighted tweety-pie had transformed itself into the Zombie Bird From Hell and was even now planning to sneak up behind me on bent and ragged claws, one eye dangling derangedly from its socket, croaking beak opened and ready to jab at the throat, teeth sinking into the jugular…*

Now I’ve watched Ray Mears. I’ve seen Bear Grylls in action. And I am utterly convinced that they too, in exactly the same circumstances, would have done what I did.

First, vacuum up the evidence. And second, put some headphones in, turn the music up loud, open the door, stare at the laptop very, very hard and wait for one slightly-balding blackbird to hop its way out to what I am certain is a long life of gourmet worm-slurping with the added bonus of having a cracking tale to tell the fledglings.

Certain. Absolutely certain. Oh yes.

*Note to self: check if birds have teeth. Accuracy is everything.

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