Friday, May 18, 2007

A sad story to end the week

Here's a sad story to end the week with, one that I'd forgotten about...

Two weeks ago Suzanne decided that the twelve foot high Leylandii hedge that borders one complete side of our garden needed trimming and then within minutes of her starting to trim it with the electric clippers she dedcided that it should be my job and added "take four foot off the top of it while your at it" to the job specification.

The neighbours didn't mind but they quickly found something else that was much more urgent in their life and fled the street on a flimsy excuse, it was too much to ask of our black and decker hedge trimmers so I called in a friend who owns a chainsaw and who is always looking for even half an excuse to get it out and use it - chainsaws are the ultimate in big boys toys, with a chainsaw you feel the power and after cutting down one tree you have to be physically restrained from chopping down everything in sight, trees, sheds, anything.

I asked him and he was round at our house within four minutes, which wasn't bad going as he lives five minutes away even at a jog, he must have run all the way, chainsaw in hand, and arrived flushed with the saw already running and a mad glare in his eyes that I've never seen before.

We set to the hedge and after a short tussle I managed to wrest control of the chainsaw off him - what fun - I would have happily taken the whole hedge down to the ground but Suzanne insisted that seven foot was about as low as we needed to go.

My friend took over the saw again after I'd got a little too enthusiastic and ripped the chain out of the guide on a particularly stubburn trunk and it was while he was lopping away and I was holding the ladder that I heard the saw stop and him sigh in disbelief and then groan an "oh no".

He'd uncovered a blackbirds nest in the hedge, one with four chicks in it, all of whom were now staring up at him wondering where the fook their hedge had gone and who was this man who had nearly just bloody decapitated them.

Like all of us of a certain age we'd both collected birds eggs as kids but he seems to have a guilty conscience about it and now gets quite upset at the idea of accidently killing birds or at the very least disturbing their homes, he explained to me from the top of the ladder that the mother would now abandon this nest and the chicks would die and he was quite upset about it.

I explained that if they were going to die anyway then we might as well chuck them over the hedge into a neighbours garden who had a cat , this didn't impress him nor did my explanation that "it was natures way".

The only way I could placate him was to replace the cut-off tops of the trees and try and disguse the nest again, which made our hedge look daft and didn't impress him, he was sure that my hastily constructed nest defence wouldn't fool a crow or a magpie and that they'd have the chicks out of the nest as soon as our back was turned, I assured him that birds aren't that smart but he still wasn't convinced - we cut the rest of the hedge very carefully and left this daft looking clump of Leylandii sticking up in the middle.

I promised to keep an eye on the nest over the next few days and tell him when the chicks had flown.

I forgot as soon as he'd left.

Two days later I received a text message from him stating literally "How are our birds doing ?" to which I was glad that Suzanne had been in the garden at the time and knew that he was referring to the blackbird chicks and not some secret tryst that we'd set up in a Sid James "Carry On" film stylee.

I checked the nest two days ago - its empty.

I sent him a text and received a distraught one informing me that it was too early for them to have flown and that they will have been taken by a bigger bird, I shrugged my shoulders and texted back "hey-ho, when are you coming to cut the rest down then"

He hasn't replied yet, I'll give him a couple of days to recover from the trauma.


John_D said...

We had a nest in ours. Fortunately it was empty, so we binned it before taking our 11' leylandii down completely.
With a hand saw.
Because I'm harder than thee.

Gary said...


Now that is hard, I doff my cap in your general direction sir.

But you really should discover the joys of chainsaw owning, it opens up avenues of entertainment that you never dreamed of.