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They’re everywhere, inside and out, giving the house a theme decoration.

One must have been this year’s chick. Zooming straight past me,

it clobbered the kitchen window so hard that I winced.

Collapsing into a jar of cooking utensils, it sat half stunned

until I rescued it, then beady-eyed, feather-light and freed,

it flew right back to the veranda beam to recover, beak agape.

I shut the door. It might be a slow learner.


On the shrub outside my bedroom next morning sat another,

practising dance steps. Jump this way, then the other and back.

Do it again. Chirp the tune. Stand on one leg and stretch the other.

It winked at me and kept dancing. Those piwakawaka!

I shut the window in case it had ideas.


Today I’m ignoring their acrobatics. They flit between rooms,

whistling and wheezing. A flock of four are conducting a vociferous

discussion mid-air the length of the back veranda

with occasional dashes into a handy hydrangea, piercing the air

and the ear, until I emerge to referee.

This morning I opened the back door and one flitted straight in,

zooming high into each corner and daringly low over the cat.

Tonight, the last one waltzed out the door in front of me at eye level,

whistling with insouciance as I closed up the house. 

Cheeky little flockers.                                                                    

 Levin, March 2014



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