None of my friends who live anywhere near the sea can understand why I quite like seagulls! Many of them have a deep-rotted hatred of these birds and some even dream of their extinction. For me they evoke memories of long-ago holidays, queuing to board a ferry at Dover, with an audible backdrop of “caw-caw-caw!”
We had an old friend, Di, who lived all her life in a seaside town in the south of the country. She hated seagulls, however she was even less fond of her neighbour.
In retirement he waged a relentless war, from his garden and back yard, against these birds using every novel method he could dream up.
Unfortunately for him, he was fighting a losing battle, as not only did he live next to Di, but the neighbour on the other side was a lonely old woman who put out daily bread for the birds, despite being subject to a court order banning the practice!
Di had one unique talent. She could imitate the “pew, pew, pew” call of a seagull chick so well that, even out of the breeding season, seagulls would flock to the street to seek out these imaginary chicks.
She would stand outside her back door, do the call, and her neighbour would appear, a short angry bald dumpy man, frantically waving a very long bamboo pole onto which was attached a plastic bag, shouting, “SHOO, SHOO, SHOO!” at the circling birds!
On Monday morning we will be saying our final farewells to Di at the crematorium. I do hope there will be some seagulls circling overhead, it would be such an appropriate final tribute to her unique talent.
© Baldock Bard 2016
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