Monday 6 July 2009

Tweet Tweet (and my aunty)

Some people prefer newspapers, paper or online edition, some the social network aspect of Facebook and others insist on the latest tweet from Twitter. Personally I choose my Aunt, whom I phone every Sunday, for up to date news.

Ivy, old enough to remember when the world was only black and white, lives on her own in a bungalow near Eastbourne yet can be relied on to fill you in about happenings across the globe, as long as they are earth shattering in importance.

Though, to be honest, her reputation has taken a knock this week as she claims to have no memory of the incident in which enterprising vandals tied her into a public phone box. In her defence she does confirm the existence of a box outside her house so I think we can put this slip in detail down to short term memory loss.

This week she tells me that Rooks are coming into her garden, uprooting plants, dragging them to a water bowl and washing them before eating them.

Although I am tempted to scoff and say that I too would want to wash anything she gave me to eat, I sympathise with her. I woke this morning to find five horses in my vegetable patch, eating all the plants they chose not to trample.

Coincidently a friend writes from Germany recounting how he was woken at 5am by weird knocking and tapping, which after several days transpired not to be deranged Banshees, but the frantic attempts of a Jackdaw, returning from North African winter migration, trying to wake a neighbour who unfortunately died in December.

The neighbour had apparently faithfully fed said jackdaw over several years and despite the discouraging calls of others of its species, it continued to try to draw a response from the house.

10 days later the jackdaw is still at it and, because I expressed doubt in his story, my friend is threatening to lay a trail of breadcrumbs to my door so that I can hear it for myself.

I think he is suggesting that the bird’s behaviour reveals a hitherto unrecognised intelligence, though frankly I feel like 10 days is indicative of something else.

I personally give up trying to raise my sleeping teenage son after one hour and in my opinion anyone sane should do the same.

However, it turns out that scientists are saying the same thing – intelligence in our two footed carrion friends has been seriously underestimated.

But remember - you heard it from my Aunt first.

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