Bird Watching

We’ve had three days of sun in Glasgow for this time of year that’s good in these parts. At the weekend I had Sandy out with me whilst I worked in the garden, after a couple of hours of tidying I took a break for coffee, rest & rumination.

Looking a bit snooty.

Sitting on the deck I’m watching Sandy following scents round my flower beds, a big pigeon lands on the grass about ten feet from him and begins nonchalantly nibbling on insects, Sandy spots it immediately and plans his attack. Dropping low to the ground he gets behind the bird, he’s quivering with excitement, judging when to launch himself at this barefaced intruder. Sandy leaps up and throws himself forward, the pigeon rises into the air, ages before Sandy reaches the spot where it used to be, looking up at it Sandy growls and his hackles rise.

Disdainful pigeon
Strutting around on Sandy’s patch

“No luck there Sandy”.
“I’ll probably catch him next time”.
“Not too sure about that, I’ve been watching you and you’ve tried to grab him quite a few times but, honestly, you never get close”.
“I will next time”.
“Can’t you see that it’s not going to happen, the bird is too quick for you”.
“I’ll get him, one time he’ll be too slow or too old & slow then I’ll have him”.
“I doubt it Sandy”.
“Don’t you believe in persistence Dad”?
“Of course I do but it has to be tempered by common sense, some things are just too unlikely and persistence is just wasted effort then”.
“But you humans can see that way before us dumb dogs, right”?
“Now Sandy you know I treat you as an equal, don’t try to dig me up like that, but yes, mostly we humans are smarter than dogs”.
“It’s true that you do much more complicated things than us dogs”.
“Yes, that’s true”. There’s no point in denying the obvious.
“You can drive cars, run businesses, fly aeroplanes and even go to the moon”.
“All true but don’t feel bad about it, that’s just natural selection”.
“I suppose so, but tell me Dad, how is business these days”?
“Not so good, what with the recession and all”.
“It must be tough trying to  make a profit”.
“It’s very difficult just now & has been for some time”.
“Why do you do it Dad”?
“Because I honestly believe that one day, with hard work and a bit of luck, I can make good money at it”.
He looked at me with those big brown eyes, wide open and innocent, immediately I had  a sense of foreboding.
“How long have you thought that Dad””
“A long time Sandy, it takes real sticking power to succeed in business”. Foreboding was turning to dread, the wee devil was in manipulative mode again.
Sandy’s face rearranged itself into the semblance of a smile, though not a pretty one.
“Forgive a dumb question Dad, but is sticking power similar to persistence”?
I felt a little nauseous.
“Ehhh, similar, yes”.
“A bit like chasing birds when there seems no hope of catching them perhaps”?
I felt a pressing need to return to gardening, there was something not quite right about the border by the hut and it needed my immediate attention.
“Sorry Sandy, there’s a complex question of the arrangement of plants in the hut border that demands instant action. We can talk more later.”
“Carry on Dad, you’ll get it right yet.”
I felt curiously deflated as I headed over to the hut, surely he hadn’t bested me again?

Watching me, distrustfully I fear.

2 Replies to “Bird Watching”

Comments are closed.