Magpies and Me

Living in Western Australia, it’s a common occurrence to be swooped by Magpies. Walking to the shops was a test of endurance, sporting events were mazes run by the rules of each magpie around the course, throughout each event.

I experienced two notable events at the beak and feet of Magpies, one was when I was eleven, the other was when I was twenty-eight. This memory is short. It’s about the attack when I was eleven.

I was a real Tom Boy, probably still would be if I was capable, so I did things like jumping off haystacks and house roofs. My favorite activity though, was climbing trees. I sat in a Mulberry tree when I was six-months pregnant, and a week or so later, up a gum with my brother in-law. He was younger than I, and something was happening that made us climb the gum for safeties sake.

I’ll write about that event in a later post.

So, I was eleven, and visiting at a friends house. At her front gate stood three huge Peppermint gums. I started to climb, we were talking, laughing and I was looking down every now and then.

I was almost to the top of a forty-foot tree. I reached up with my right hand, wrapped it around a thin branch and as I looked up, a Magpie landed on my hand.

The first thing I did was let go, then I screamed as I fell out of the tree, hitting every branch I’d used to climb up, all the way down.

When I hit the ground, it was from a three-foot drop. I was winded, but Tom Boy’s will be Tom Boy’s and I lay on the ground and got my wind back.

We played some more, climbed other trees before going home, but it wasn’t something I needed to tell my parents about. I was walking, talking and breathing, but I did watch where I put my hand in future and always kept the thought in my mind, ‘If a Maggie lands on your hand, don’t be frightened,’ so I wasn’t.

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