Maggie does a remarkable thing

Last Friday I was taking a water can up to the front gate to change the water in the bowl up there. Maggie was behind me pottering around. Suddenly I saw him running past me to beat me to the water bowl, getting there while I was still about six feet away, and then he stood facing me and drinking water. I had a nice chat with him, but the meaning of this action came home to me forcefully while I was walking back from the gate. He was trying to tell me that there was already water in the bowl and I didn't have to lug the big water can all that way.

Of course, we humans are indoctrinated to think that animals can't possible have higher thoughts like consideration for someone else's trouble. But we often don't realise that because they can't talk full language, they have to use demonstration to get a message across. Showing me that he could have a drink without my filling the bowl was the only way he could tell me not to bother going all that way in the hot sun. If this isn't the reason for his actions, what is? He certainly didn't think I was going to tip the water out or something silly like that, because he is the one who told us to put out water in the first place (by tapping the upturned water bowl of our dogs after they had passed away). So he knows who puts the water out and why. So, why race me to get a drink of stale water when he could have waited for fresh?

On another tack, I managed to see our other grey butcherbird Harrie on Saturday, which cheered me up immensely. And yesterday her partner Larry flew to the top of a tree in the gully so I could see him and sang me a lovely song. But they still aren't coming very often for a feed. I also got another visit from our neighbour's magpies Billy and Polly and their three bubs, all together. Unfortunately they come so late at night that any photos don't come out right.

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