Yesterday I walked Archer and Pipey (more about our visitor in a later post) along the port. The tide was out and the water perfectly still with clear reflections of jetty pylons, boats and clouds. I let Archer off to play – he ran and ran. This is not as joyous as it sounds, but rather an indicator that I have not trained him to come every time I call.
His antics drew my attention to an old tyre on the edge of the water. A seagull was repeatedly taking off and then bouncing back, clearly it was either held by some hidden elastic or was the first bungy jumping bird. Pipey was hurriedly tied to a post and I set off through sludge, seaweed and wet sand towards this bird. I found one poor seagull bound in knots to the tyre and the second one another meter or so down the fishing line – the one I had seen. Each time he attempted to fly away he bound the first seagull even tighter.
I was able to untie the first bird and it flew away. The second bird was in a bad way. As I was struggling to bring Archer, the bird and the tyre to the shore a gorgeous ex-student appeared like an angel in her perfect white denims – holding a blunt but much appreciated fishing knife and helped cut the bird from the tyre, before taking off with her friends. We set off for my car 50 metres away, me, two dogs, a water bottle, bag of poop (don’t ask) and a very sad seagull - who seemed to get some relief from holding tightly to my finger with his beak.
Much to my surprise when I had cut all the fishing line away the little bird was stiff but able to stand and half an hour later to walk. He stretched his wings (rubbed raw from the line in places) and hopefully later he would fly.
I went home feeling a little sad about what humans do to animals both directly and indirectly.
As I got washing in Archer chewed two of Maggie’s old bones on the lawn, our visiting friend hid from the camera, Charles came to sit on the deck and Phantom surveyed the world from the comfort of his hammock. It brought a warmth and joy to my heart to be surrounded by four well loved animals.