Seducing Birds

Posted: January 4, 2011 in Back To The Edge, Family Fortunes - Love A Bit Of Les Dennis


It is a Saturday morning. I am sitting at home waiting, for Mom and Dad are due any minute.

There is a knock on the door. Their knock.

They come inside and I hug them before getting to work on two cups of tea. Several seconds and a small spillage later I proudly present my two questionable concoctions. Dad takes a sip and tries in a Mohr-subtle way to hide his grimace. He then looks to one side oddly and asks a curious question.

“Did either of you just hear a ‘coo-ing’ sound?”

Curious. “No…?”

“I thought I just heard a coo-ing sound. Do you mind if I have a look upstairs?”

Dad likes a good investigation. His cowlick is grinning at the prospect.

“Go ahead!” I graciously and over-zealously permit.

He disappears briefly while Mom and I share confused looks and thoughts of delicious Anzac biscuits; the world’s best. A few minutes later Dad returns; proudly announcing that he did in fact hear a ‘coo-ing’ sound! Two birds were playing chicken at the top of our chimney. One lost (or won) and ended up stuck in the fireplace in the spare bedroom and Dad’s managed to make a hole and free the poor thing.

Dad sits on the sofa with stunning self-confidence and sips his tea with a sour grimace subtly obscured by his small, shining, successful smile.


Two days later, I and my housemate are both up bright and early, wearing our sharpest suits and getting ready for work. We are eating breakfast and watching Futurama when Big Boots looks to one side oddly and asks a curious question.

“Did you just hear a ‘coo-ing’ sound?”

Curious. A small amount of milky porridge trickles down my chin as my brain struggles to process the glitch in the matrix. Big Boots puts down his surprisingly symmetrical spoon of Lucky Charms and runs up to the spare bedroom. “How could there be another bird stuck in the chimney?! Your Dad unblocked it!!” He crouches down and peeks upwards. There’s no way there could be another bird in there.


There might be another bird in there. Perched happily on a ledge adjacent to a hole it could fly out of.


The very hole Dad jimmied open not two days ago between grimaces!

It’s flapping about. There’s soot falling through the hole. It must be trying to get out, but can’t fly straight up. Birds would do a lot better in life if they were put through simple physical training.

Time is ticking on, and we both have jobs to get to. Big Boots says something silly about a ladder for birds but I dismiss it as pure piffle. For I am busy! I am thinking about serious matters!

Like a real man does. All the time.

“We have to find a way to get this bird to leave, or we’ll have a dead bird to clear out and a smell to get rid of. Dan…? Dan!”

“Sorry, I was thinking about making an assault course.”


“Like; to help birds learn how to fly straight up and crawl across minefields while they’re still young. We could start teaching the first batch of eggs straight away.”

“But you don’t have any eggs.”

There is a moment of silence. I am thinking about stealing Big Boots’ eggs.

I think he can tell.

“You leave my eggs out of this!”

“But it’s brilliant! People will pay good money to watch eggs jump through fire!”



“Come on Dan, we’ve got serious matters to think about! Now. How are we gonna get this bird to go?”

I’ve coaxed birds before. This should be easy. I learnt this trick from my Grandma when I was just a five-and-half-feet tall six-year old. “We need to find some bread.” I announce.

I bellow.

Big Boots grimaces and wipes the spit off his face before running to fetch a slice. I take another look into the hole. My arm’ll get pecked to death if I put it in there. I’ll need a fork to push the bread through to the bird. I’ll need a long fork.

Big Boots returns and I’ve disappeared.


I return carrying my extendable plastic joust. Jousts are good at being long. And stabbing things. Big Boots doesn’t seem so impressed. “What’s that for?” “To get rid of the bird…” Occasionally Big Boots misses these logical steps. “…Obviously.”


I force the bread onto the end of the joust like a piece of paper into a ring binder when you can’t be bothered to use a hole punch and shove it into seduction position.

I jerk it about a bit in front of the bird’s face.

The bird is confused. It doesn’t sound seduced, despite the fact that I’m looking good! I may just be the best dressed jouster of all time.

Time ticks. I’m still lying on the floor poking bread on a joust up a chimney wearing a suit.

This is weird.

And failing.

We decide to put ourselves at risk of indoor icicles and leave the bedroom windows open. Hopefully birdie will escape on the sly if we leave him alone.

We arrive home and the bird is gone. There are bloodstains in streaks across the window.

Bloody bird.


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