The Bird Watcher
“It’s there again”, her daughter shouted through from her vantage point at the front room window.
She joined her and watched as a seagull cocked its head on one side, looking to the left and right as it did so.
“I’m scared, Mum.”
“Don’t be silly, it’s just scavenging for food, that’s all.”
“Then why is it just looking at the rubbish and not pecking at it like usual?”
Elaine was just glad not to have to go around after the dustmen had been with a plastic bag picking up all the detritus after the birds had pecked open the well-wrapped rubbish in the black plastic sacks.
“It does look as though it’s listening and looking straight at us and…”, she stopped as a council van pulled up and a smartly dressed official got out, looked at the seagull before proceeding to walk up to their front door. Even so, the sudden sharp knock made them jump. She opened the door and was handed an envelope by the suited man.
“A warning letter”, he said, “next time it’s a £1000 fine and then jail.”
“But what for?” she managed to ask.
“Too many bags out, luv. New regs, didn’t you read the notice? Only allowed one black sack per week per household.”
The seagull put back his head and let out an almighty screech.
“Well, I must be off,” said the official suddenly, before running down the path and across the road to a nice old couple who had just moved in.
Closing the door she rejoined her daughter at the window.
“Look”, her daughter pointed at the bird, head cocked on one side, definitely eyeing up the rubbish outside their next door neighbour’s house. Meanwhile the old couple had opened their door to the council official who was handing them a brown envelope too.
“Oh, but that’s so not fair”, she muttered, “there’s always a lot of rubbish when you move.”
Eeeoooweeeow screeched the seagull as it was now outside their house again and eyeing the house unblinkingly. Head cocked again, listening – or was it reporting what it saw to the council. How else would the official have arrived so swiftly?