Temperatures inched towards 40 degrees, the best place to endure it was under a Milkwood where dappled light choreographed a fluid dance on the stones, leaves, bark and grass.
The large Milkwood was home to variety of birds, ‘White Eyes, Starlings, Sun birds and pigeons got on with admirable diplomacy, ample space and food satisfied them all. Their one main worry was a local grey stripey cat with white paws whose penchant for climbing trees and nosing in nests was alarming at any time of day, aggressive, warning chirping shot through the branches every time he appeared, calling to arms as many of the tribe as possible.
On this hot New Years Eve afternoon an unusual gentle chatter drifted down from the higher branches, a definite conversation, what they were discussing in those delicate tones was unknown, yet it held a sweet, positive resonance.
A Cape Bulbul fluttered into view, its white rimmed beady eye looked around to see who or what was on the ground, satisfied with the sight of a reclining human and snoring dog it looked up and sang. Another Bulbul appeared and the two of them fluttered their wings furiously, small fast movements, were they trying to cool each other off in this heat? Turning around on the branch the wing activity continued, in between full body fluffing, tail spreading and lively banter.
The two became three, another fluff ball landed on a branch, this one was fatter, shorter and seemed to have no tail to speak of or the telltale yellow underbelly. The two chatterboxes looked up at the fluff ball and continued their demonstration, bursts of wing flutter, tail fanning. They flitted around the third member of the party, flying above and below it, landing to the left and then to the right, it started to copy their actions. Ah, the fluff ball was learning to fly, it followed its parents, mimicking their wings, tail, movements, travelling the smallest distance between branches guidance and appeared encouraged by the delightful parental song at seeing their offspring beginning to spread its wings and fly.
Oblivious of the approaching calendar turning and a New Year starting the baby Bulbul hopped, fluffed, flitted and with apparent confidence and determination flew.
The first book published by Diane Cox, Pig Farmers and Prima Donnas is available from Amazon, Kindle Edition.