February 24, 2011

Pulling Strings

Jean-Pierre the butcher bird

Meet Jean-Pierre.  He's been visiting us for about five months.  Early January, Mitchell and I went to Sydney for a week and after we returned there wasn't any sign of him.  No more Jean-Pierre.

Mid February morning and it was Mitchell's birthday.  I glanced through my kitchen window and there was our beautiful butcher bird. He was sitting on the chair that I dared not move since he last visited.  It was his stage.  He used to sing us songs from that chair. The most wonderful warble I have ever heard.  One particular morning he sang his little heart out.  It was mesmerizing and I was actually moved to the point of tears.  He has never quite repeated that performance.

Mitchell was so happy to see his little friend had returned.  Their relationship had been slowly developing.  Naturally food has been the motivation for Jean-Pierre's visits.  It's amazing what stringy little bits of meat can bring.  He was confident enough to sit and eat from Mitchell's knee.   Then he disappeared.  It's been a while now and I guess a little trust needs to be built up again before that happens.

What a wonderful birthday surprise!  After all this time, fancy Jean-Pierre showing up on my birthday,  he said.  I told my son we mother's can pull strings when the need arises.  I had organised for Jean-Pierre to come precisely at that time.  What?  You don't believe me!  Wait till I tell you what I pulled for my son's birthday two years ago.  Mitchell still shakes his head in disbelief. 

 Here's a clue. We're going to see John Williamson's 40th anniversary concert in Brisbane soon.  Mitchell's favourite songwriter and singer.  He absolutely adores him.  We went to Twin Towns last November to see his show and we haven't stopped playing his songs ever since.  Gosh, that man has written some great and memorable songs.  He is our very own dinky di Aussie living legend.

Now, what do you think the chances are of getting this Aussie legend to phone my son and wish him a happy birthday.  Not great?  Never underestimate the power of a determined mother.  Like I said, we sure can pull some strings.  Arranging for Jean-Pierre to come and sing precisely on his birthday was actually harder than getting John Williamson to call my son and say "gudday".  But I did. 

Now. I rather fancy the idea of John writing a song about our Aussie butcher bird.  Somehow I don't think he'll like his name.  'Jean-Pierre' isn't very Aussie after all.  Jeepers. Maybe they could sing together.  Imagine John singing and Jean-Pierre warbling in the background.  Or maybe John can whistle or play the harmonica with Jean-Pierre out front.  Ohh the possibilities. Must dash.  I hope I haven't run out of string.


  1. Jean-Pierre looks like he knows he is loved.

  2. Oh, he's so beautiful! How lovely that he returned for your son's birthday. I've never seen one quite like him before - what sort of butcher bird is he?

  3. What a lovely and mysterious tale! We are very fond of birds too. We currently have a new jackdaw who has come to live in our garden. Today he stood under a pseudopanax sheltering from the rain in front of the little buddha, he tucked his head in and waited till the rain stopped again.

  4. That is one beautiful bird! How sweet that Jean-Pierre returned on Mitch's birthday...amazing. And you are a determined mother to get the Aussie legend to say hello! It must have pleased Mitch so much. Two wonderful singers on his birthday!

    You deserve and big hug.


  5. Denise - I'm not sure if he feels loved or the food is just good around here.

    Celia - Yes, he is beautiful. He is a Pied Butcher bird, native to our part of the world. Mostly in south-east queensland.

    Jo - Isn't it wonderful to feel connected to the nature around us. I wonder if these little feathered blighters realise how much joy they give us. Enjoy your feathered friend. I do.

    Zurin - I know, bang on his birthday. I really enjoyed writing about Jean-Pierre. He makes us smile and we feel needed. Yes dear, I am a determined mother. I get the feeling you may know a little about that! Hugs back. Mariana xx