Away With the Birds

I was running late before I started this morning – possibly a hangover from the night before when my husband had come home after finishing his shift at 10.30 pm to find me still up and tapping away on my iPad. Since I have had dogs which need to be walked before work, I have to fight every natural impulse my body tries to impose on me to stay asleep and get up around 6am, which means that I equally have to fight my natural impulse to stay up until midnight and get to bed early.

Last night, though was a bust, I had been behind from the get go and it was bin night, which meant hoovering so I was late to bed. When the alarm went off this morning I was not ready to accept that it was already time to go again.

Lucy was, though. Ever the coiled spring, she leapt off the bed ready to walk and possibly hoping that I wouldn’t be needing any pesky tea before taking her. But I did. Lots of tea, so it was almost seven by the time I had my jeans amd boots on and the dogs in their harnesses.

‘You are going to be late for work,’ warned my husband, or ‘the little ray of sunshine’ as he is also not known.

‘I have a plan,’ I replied, and got into the car.

My plan was basically to drive to the football ovals rather than walk the dogs down to the lacrosse park, which takes slightly less time but gives them more park time and less pavement time. I plugged my earphones in and we set off around the perimeter.

As someone who listens to a lot of podcasts, it did not take me long to come across the WTF podcast hosted by American comedian Marc Maron. There are many people he talks to who are a mystery to me, but the biggest mystery to me is the food he ends up discussing. He loves talking about food with his guests and it is frequently stuff I have never heard of: lemon chess pie, or today’s dish: steak tips. Even as a vegetarian I was intrigued as to what a steak tip might be. I pictured an asparagus tip, but made of meat and then gave up and googled it, then posted a tweet about my general confusion on the subject.

Meanwhile I was not the only distracted member of the pack. While Archie, for once was trotting along happily beside me as we rounded on the final quarter of our walk, Lucy had noticed something in the trees – parrots. Parrots who were not trying to hide at all but advertising their presence by ripping out bits of tree and hurling them to ground while chattering loudly. They were making a lot of noise and generally behaving like over eager shoppers around a bin on discounted jumpers at a Boxing Day sale.

‘Come on, Lucy’ I called as Archie and I headed to the car.

But Lucy was having none of it and sat under the tree doing a very bad job of pretending not to hear me calling.

I whistled, I clapped. I used my singy, happy voice and my growly, cross voice but her bum remained on the ground and her eyes fixed on the chaos among the branches as I moved further away.

Eventually, I reached the car and had no option but to get Archie in and then double back to collect my disobedient and parrot obsessed dog. I dropped a treat in front of Archie and headed back to get her. She did not run away, she was not moving anywhere and frankly I can’t blame her. The parrots were small and bright and chatty and funny, ripping the tree to shreds and they argued and shrieked.

I clipped on her lead and walked her back to the car. If I was worried that Archie may have been stressed left on his own, I need not have been. I opened the door to see just his back paws on the back seat. His front paws were on the console between the  drover and passenger seats, and he was standing like a furry Spirit of Ecstacy statuette pointing towards home and apparently unaware of the need for a driver to operate the car, or indeed that the car was not moving.

I guess we were all a little away wth the birds this morning.


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