17 June 2010

Mutal of Watson's Wild Kingdom

caricature by Chip Cooper

Hello and welcome to this weeks's edition of Mutual of Watson's Wild Kingdom.  The housecat, usually docile and calm, will revert to its instinctive predatory habits when in the presence of prey.  We see here Felis Cattus lounging carelessly in the back lawn, when a baby blackbird drops into its field of vision.  It is a scientific mystery as to why the blackbirds have suddenly become so clumsy, but this spring they have been dropping out of the nest, and complaining loudly about it, at an alarming rate.  This young fledgling has chosen an inopportune spot to descend, and squawks helplessly as the housecat takes notice of the bird's prediciment, and hunches to pounce.  Adult birds hop through the trees in the yard,  setting off a noisy shrieking alarum call, following the cat's path in the air even as she trods it afoot.
As the cat prepares to take her kill, the birds, so clumsy in their youth, show a surprising aptitude for military airstrike tactics.  The birds form a respectable five-man strafing formation, dive bombing the cat.  Her concentration ruined, the cat slinks away, mightily offended at the interference of the adult birds, who have caused enough distraction for the nighbor kid to scoop the bird into a low hanging nest, allowing a few minutes of respite until it takes the plunge again.  Tune in again next week, when Jim Fowler braves the front sidewalk against the mighty peril of the barn swallow.