Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Mad With Grief

I don't know why we're surprised anymore.

We've known for thousands of years that birds display emotions - and I, with a totem Eagle and a Pied Crow for a spirit guide, should be less surprised than any of us. Yet I remain moved in my soul when I clearly discern the emotions of birds.

Every work day morning, I save some of my breakfast for the small family of Sparrows who have nested near the office for a good 6 years now. And every morning, the male flies over to the part of the railing closest to me and chirrups in my face before joining his mate in eating. Sometimes, he leaves me a feather, or a dandelion.

This weekend, I again noticed the Indian Mynah which harasses my dogs - or dog, rather, as the bird targets only our bitch, Scylla. S/he flies very close to Scylla's head with a godsawful screech, talons outstretched. Again and again. S/he's been doing this for more than a year, ever since my PitBull pack, being Terriers, caught and killed a fairly well-grown Mynah chick. I tried to save the little bird, but failed, as we so often do.

The Mynah hung close to the dying chick and was still around and vocal after it died.

It has never forgotten who killed hir chick. This bird is still mad with grief. And we wonder whether or not we're anthropomorphising them. Good heavens.