An Unfortunate Gift…


Recently our locality has been host to several songbirds. Goldfinches seem to be filling the ecological niche vacated by our London Sparrows. They fill the air from time to time with their songs. Each one seems to have his, I am sure they are male, favourite perch from which to regale the world as to their property rights, or are they trying to attract the female of the species.

Today, the kitten brought home an unwanted gift. We found her in the kitchen with a dead canary, it’s neck broken and its body cold. Where she had found this bundle of golden feathers we do not know.

Has someone lost their pet to ours, I wonder? Or perhaps this was a bird escaped from a cage for a brief sojourn in the freedom of the air. I suspect, I hope, that it had broken its own neck flying into a window and the cat had found it. I doubt that I am right however.

One fact remains,  the glorious song of this individual is silenced now.

Whilst seeking a link to a Goldfinches song, I was surprised to see how many of these fantastic birds are kept in cage still in the 21st Century. I remembered this poem by Thomas Hardy

The Caged Goldfinch
Thomas Hardy

Within a churchyard, on a recent grave,
I saw a little cage
That jailed a goldfinch. All was silence save
Its hops from stage to stage.

There was inquiry in its wistful eye,
And once it tried to sing;
Of him or her who placed it there, and why,
No one knew anything.

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8 Responses to “An Unfortunate Gift…”

  1. Grannymar Says:

    I watched a young neighbourhood cat (with a collar) climb right up a tree in the garden the other day in order to hunt some birds. I soon sent it packing….. interrupting my concert, how dare it!

  2. bikehikebabe Says:

    Love your pic bird & his song.
    My mother once had a canary named Tweety-pie. But I think every canary is named Tweety-pie

  3. Maria Says:

    David,
    The beautiful bird is silent and the kitty brought you an unwanted gift. I read your sorrow and identify completely. I wish I had some words of wisdom to lift your spirit, but there are none. I am glad you shared your feelings with all of us.

  4. magpie11 Says:

    BHB… My Grannie was heard singing “I tort I taw a Puddy tat” Just before she died!

    I like the arrangement here:

    And some of the rhymes!

    Maria: In the garden just now…Gold finch on the TV ariel singing fit to bust! Hope the lady Goldfinches like it!

  5. Ursula Says:

    Magpie, that’s nature for you (Grannymar take note): Dog eats dog.

    It’s awful. There is only thing to be said for providing cat food: One’s cat cannot be arsed to hunt for themselves. In the olden days cats were employed as mousers and they bloody well ate them rather than putting their bounty at your feet as a gift of love.The previous place my son and I lived in was damp at the bottom of the garden. I can’t tell you how many more or less half dead frogs brought in by the cats I have been trying to rescue over the years. A friend of mine – he lives in deepest countryside at Lake Constance – was recently graced with a vole. I mean: Really, there is such a thing as taste.

    I am very fond of birds; not least because my grandfather was – whenever I see a Robin I could cry remembering a man who made my early life so very happy.

    Then there are the neighbours. You can bet your bottom dollar/Euro that, if you are the cursed owner of a cat, your neighbours will be entertaining a bird feeding table. This is yet another reason why low rumbling wars start. My son’s remaining cat’s one redeeming feature being that he too is lazy to chase anything feathery. Give him a butterfly instead.

    U

  6. gaelikaa Says:

    Sad little story….I am quite fond of birds.

    • magpie11 Says:

      I am fond of wildlife in general but give me the plant world any time…then you can have your animals as well…. The problem is the Human race!
      Cue condemnation of our collective arrogance, to believe that the whole place is here for OUR benefit.

  7. Rummuser Says:

    A colony of sparrows used to nest in our garden hedge. Somehow, our gated compound has acquired a family of cats and for the past few months, the sparrows have disappeared. I used to keep bird seed and throw them on the stone slabs in the garden for them and pigeons, but both have now stopped coming to the garden and I miss the noise when I sit with my mug of tea on the veranda.

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