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Monday, 11 August 2014

Blackbird Waiting.

Natalie and I were delayed having our breakfast and the Blackbird was getting impatient waiting for its morning toast.

It – we are not certain of its gender as it is one of this-year's fledglings, juveniles so they all look similar – was sitting on the fence, adjacent and to the left of our kitchen patio doors, watching us eat our toast and marmalade and giving us a do-hurry-up look accompanied by a telepathic message of: I've been kept waiting: where is mine. Bolshy Blackbird – yes we've given a name because you do not call friends 'It' – then flew down to the edge of the patio so as to be in our direct line of sight.

Each morning when I'm preparing breakfast I always toast four slices of bread even though we only eat three. Why?

There is logic in what appears to be an act of madness. Those of you who don't know me may think I'm crazy; those of you who know me have probably made up your mind; but I'll explain.

We have an electric toaster that only takes two slices of bread at a time. The first two pieces pop-up after the designated period and are an enticing golden brown colour all over. The third slice if put in the toaster on its own will spring-up as an inedible charcoal-brown board. I have to toast a new third slice watching it carefully so I can manually pop-it-up when the colour is right. So that's four slices to get three and extra time and effort. Any undesirable, burnt slice would go on the lawn for our feathered visitors. So, the obvious, efficient action on round two is to make another two slices of golden-brown toast; so we and the birds all have the same quality of bread. That is not strictly true because we also give them the two end crusts – not toasted of course – one when we start a loaf and the other when we finish it three days later.

Bolshy, parents and siblings; along with the Sparrows, the Wood Pigeons, and the Collared Doves; have a similar taste in bread as us. This varies between 'Granary Original Thick Slice' and 'Seed Sensations Original' by Hovis although the latter seems to be their favourite.

When we had finished our toast we cut up the birds' slice into manageable beak size pieces and then I went onto the patio to scatter the portions on the lawn, as I usually do.

Bolshy was waiting about one metre away from me so I dropped three or four pieces in front of my friend as a personal breakfast-in-grass. I'm sure I got the look and message of: Thanks, but at little earlier in future. I can't be kept waiting, I've a busy day and I'll have to fly. Two portions grabbed into the beak and Bolshy hopped under the shrub close by to eat in private.

On leaving the protection of the plant umbrella two more morsels were held in the mouth before Bolshy took to the wing with the takeaway.

We will have to shower, dress, prepare and eat breakfast with more haste in future – or set the alarm for an earlier time – so our friend, Bolshy Blackbird, doesn't get in a flap again about waiting for breakfast toast.

© Elliot Sampford 2014

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