As I lay in bed this morning trying to measure the size of my hangover (EXTRA LARGE), I listened to a bird whose cry sounded like it was saying, “Gimme a break, gimme a break, gimme a break.” Buddy, I thought to myself, I hear ya. Then I started wondering how the adult male bush or brush turkey was getting on. He’s been hard at it, building that nest, but I have a few doubts about the location he’s chosen. I’ve been telling him, “Handsome, hasn’t anyone ever told you it’s all about position, position, position? So why the hell are you building so close to the road and the footpath when you’ve got a whole national park to choose from?” He just flaps his yellow beard thing at me and wanders off to find some more twigs. He’s adamant that this is the place, and I guess I am starting to see why he likes it. The chicks dig it. Well, according to Jenny, and she is our resident expert on all things Mother Nature, right now he’s just hoping that the adult chicks dig it enough that one day there will be chick chicks. He’s trying to promote himself as an eligible bachelor to the female bush turkeys, get himself in the game, and it seems being able to build his own house impresses the ladies. Sort of.
Yesterday the objects of his affection paid him no mind. They had a party above my head instead. They decided to catch up on all the bush turkey hot gossip while sunning themselves on the tin roof of the pool house, which is where I’m living this week. Occasionally it sounded like they were having a heated argument. And then one dropped off the side of the roof. There was a loud commotion, and I looked up to see her falling clumsily past my window, flapping her wings to ensure a soft if slightly undignified landing. But then she was really in a huff, and she decided she wasn’t quite done talkin’ turkey, so next she worked herself up into a big wing-assisted jump, only just clearing the roof line like an overweight diamond thief fleeing the scene of a bungled heist. There was a bit of a scramble as she disappeared over the top.
Meanwhile they also had to contend with two young turks, a pair of lads out on the pull. I can’t imagine our yellow bearded friend being too happy about the competition, since he’s clearly got designs on the two girls himself. They would have had great views of his building efforts from their rooftop vantage point; maybe that’s what they were doing up there in the first place. Inspecting and heckling. Or maybe they were trying to put some distance between themselves and the overconfident young studs. A pair of kookaburras passed comment on all this from the nearest tree, dead ringers for the grouchy Muppets deriding everything from their opera box.
Never a dull moment around here.
So I woke up wondering how the hard grafter was getting on down there at the bottom of the garden, toiling away, trying so hard to get it right even in the face of much criticism, uncertainty and competition. I realised his predicament is not so entirely unlike my own. He’s got this blind faith and instinct compelling him to keep on constructing this thing, and even though the lady birds may spurn his advances (and I may never, ever receive an advance of my own!), still he keeps on hoping and trying and building and working. I like that about the little guy. I don’t know which bird was beseeching the world, “Gimme a break, gimme a break, gimme a break,” but I hope our yellow bearded buddy is about to be cut some slack.