Treetop Terrorists

Well it’s official, I am being bullied by a bird. For the past 3 weeks I have been held to ransom by a group of local ‘terrorists’. Here in this sunny Gold Coast suburb, we fear for our eyeballs, our ears and let’s get dramatic here… our lives (insert Bold & Beautiful music). Walking alone is no longer safe.  Bike riding is no longer a leisure activity but a high speed dance with the devil. Runners beware, we are the primary targets.

No, I am not referring to our well- publicized ‘Bikie Wars’. The Bandidos and Hells Angels have nothing on these guys. Then who is responsible for these highly sophisticated attacks? Magpies! Horrible, pointy, scratchy, beady, little, evil eyed magpies. These black and white birds are reducing grown men to little huddling balls of fear. I hate Magpies. Come to think of it, I actually hate all birds, I have never trusted them. Maybe it was that terrible horror film ‘Birds’ or maybe just a bad experience at Trafalgar Square as a child,  but I swear when I am alone with a bird I can hear them laughing at me, like they know something I don’t.

Any runner will share my terror. Instead of enjoying my daily jaunt, I have become a hostage. I even found myself trying to quietly creep past them the other morning just so I didn’t wake them up.  It didn’t work…there he was glaring at me from his letterbox, ready to peck my eyes out. How did he know I was there? Does he watch me sleeping? Do they make binoculars for birds? Do Magpies have IPhones? Is there a human GPS App that we are unaware of?

My heart starting to pound, I knew I couldn’t out run him, I had seen too many failed attempts to think I could get away un-swooped. On three separate occasions I had witnessed others being attacked and the coward in me had secretly thought…better them than me! Although from the safety of my car, I did pull over once and ask if I could help a young boy who was being pecked to death, clearly a veteran in this area he replied with an eery calmness ‘No it’s okay, I just need to look him in the eye, I’ll be fine’. This advice from the day before had stayed with me, so that’s exactly what I did. I felt utterly ridiculous, but I turned my body around, faced up to my attacker and stared him out as I ran backwards all the way home.

I always thought people running with silly plastic spoke hats were fools, and now I’m wondering where it is I can purchase them. Next time I run I will be prepared. I will wear my 3 year old son’s hideous dinosaur hat, fully decked out with a Stegosaurus spines on the top. A fool I will look…..a hostage I will not be. Me 1- Magpies 0

On a positive note, my split times are at an all-time low, but this I am sure is only because I’m literally running for my life!



10 thoughts on “Treetop Terrorists

  1. Ohhh dear. Maggies, eh? What suburb of the GC are you in? I was in Helensvale and before that, Burleigh Heads/Palm Beach and grew up in Tally Valley. And yes, maggies are everywhere! Where I now live, Canberra, it’s a regular occurrance to see people with a huge amout of cable ties sticking up out of their crash helmets to ward off the winged furies that are magpies in nesting season.

  2. I have a group of trees that I avoid in Sept/Oct in Perth. Have tried sticking plastic googly eyes on top of a cap, wearing a cheap pair of sunnies on the top of the cap, but neither worked. Old wives tale about the eyes scaring them off. I hate walking around the lake in this season – that constant dread and anticipation in your chest; jumping at every rustle of the trees. Well, you can always go to the old stand-by we used as kids – (empty:-) plastic ice-cream container on the head!
    ps, photo of the dino cap please…

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