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  • Angela Wallis Moore

A Currawong Tale

Much to my amusement, (and secret delight), I have found that I am being courted by a Currawong, a native Australian bird. For some weeks he has been wandering around my garden, pecking for grubs in the lawn, most often where the grass verge meets the gutter. Whenever I'm out for a walk and he's in the vicinity, I always stop and say hello. I chat to him for a little while, and he listens, head on one side, bright yellow eye watching me quizzically.



I can only think that he has mistaken my intentions. Clearly, what I intended as my customary interest in the beings whose world I share, has been interpreted as something of a more romantic nature. I dare not think what the kangaroos are planning, since I talk to them, too.

Initially, I thought my avian admirer simply wanted to hang out, since he'd perch on the veranda rail, but the romance escalated quickly. I walked out to sweep the veranda one morning, a couple of days after he began his house calls, to find a gift of 'food'.



Apparently lacking the resources to buy flowers and chocolates, my beau had raided someone's breakfast plate to bring me a piece of toast. Being shy, he'd left it on the railing and affected nonchalance when I thanked him later (with suitable gravity).

He then proceeded to serenade me with an unusual tune, one I've not heard before from a currawong. I suspect it's a regional version, similar to the melodies of his cousins, the butcher birds, who are known for their beautiful songs.


I was touched by his sweet gift but moved to wonder what would come next. I didn't have long to wait. This morning, I emerged to find ...



… a bone. Well chewed, and now the object of attention for an enthusiastic group of ants, it certainly ups the ante when it comes to quality. This rapid escalation convinces me of his ardour, but I feel slightly concerned lest he drop an entire carcass on my veranda.

How do I break it to him that I'm not a great fan of carrion? Or that pre-loved toast wouldn't normally play a major role on my breakfast menu?

Perhaps I should continue simply to dispose of the evidence discreetly, grateful that a wild creature has seen fit to bond with me and grace me with his presence … and his presents.



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