augury doggerel

Tuesday, May 28, 2002


This morning while making tea and coffee all wrong and throwing it away and starting again, I heard a magpie's chatter chatter chatter. When eventually I got coffee and sugar into one mug and a teabag into another and boiling water into both, I looked out the window and saw our cat and a magpie, both black and white, about five feet from each other on the edge of the communal sandbox. The magpie stood facing squarely at the cat and yelled. The cat stared across the road and tried to pretend the magpie wasn't there, but she was clearly taking it all in. Then the cat moved off, a few steps at a time, while the magpie edged after her and kept up the noise, the sort of noise a rotten little boy makes when he's pretending to fire a machine gun. I went out on the balcony to sip my tea and offer support. The cat climbed up, briefly rubbed against my legs, and then sat on the edge of the balcony and watched the king of the playground strut the wooden O of the sandbox.


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