My son Callum has bought a new car. Well, it’s not exactly new. Actually it’s quite old. But he's pleased with it. It has a big engine that makes a magnificent glub, glub noise (he had to pass his full driver’s licence test in order to be allowed to drive it), and it sits so close to the ground, it scrapes over speed bumps. I can’t understand why that’s an attraction. I wouldn’t like it at all. But Callum does.

Callum enjoyed his vehicle for a week or so, then one day the grin disappeared from his face. “The driver’s side window has got stuck,” he told me. “I wound it down and now it won’t wind back up.” He planned to fix the window but before he had time to do that, something unexpected happened.

It was just an ordinary evening. Callum was driving along, his car engine purring away (glub, glub), his window (of course) wound down, when up ahead he spied a huge flock of birds sitting on the road. As he approached, there was a fluttering of white wings and much squawky protesting as they all rose reluctantly from the ground. One of the birds must have got confused. Instead of flying upwards, it shot sideways towards the car, through the wound down open window, straight past Callum's nose. The bird had made a big mistake. It was now a prisoner inside the vehicle. It flew backwards and forwards, up and down, searching for a way to escape. If I'd been in the car with that crazy bird I would have panicked. I might have crashed the car. But Callum kept his cool. He slammed on the brakes, pulled over to the side of the road, threw his door open and leaped out.

A passer-by noticed Callum's hasty exit from the vehicle and yelled, "Are you okay, mate?"

Callum yelled back, "There's a bird in my car!" and ran to open the tailgate of his station wagon. A bundle of angry feathers finally appeared and flew off to freedom, no doubt with much relief. I guess Callum was relieved too. He did grin later when he told me his story. We both did. It seemed rather funny when all the drama was over.

 “What sort of bird was it?” I asked.

“It was a cockie, but not one of those sulphur-crested ones. It was white with pink around its eyes.”

“A corella?”

“Yeah.”

Flocks of sulphur-crested cockatoos are a common sight where we live. But a flock of corellas? I know they do travel in big flocks but I’ve never seen more than few of those birds together at one time.  





"Are you sure it wasn't a sulphur-crested cockatoo?"

"Yes."

I shrugged my shoulders. Callum's probably right. He saw the bird and I didn't. Actually he got a really good look at it. He couldn’t have got closer to the bird if he’d tried. They were eyeball to eyeball.

The car window has now been replaced. The new window winds down and it winds back up again. No more birds will be hitching a ride.

I wonder how I am going to end this story. I have an idea...

The End


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Image: Chasing parrots by ghatamos(CC BY 2.0)





Image: Sulphur-crested cockatoo by Kieran Palmer(CC BY 2.0)
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