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Red in tooth and claw

by Sandy Thomas from The Round Hill Reporter October 2013

Red in tooth and claw - a tale of the unexpected

A loud, powerful thud in the room above startled me. As I instinctively turned and looked up I caught sight of a sparrowhawk, ruffling its feathers and looking positively put-out, perched on a wall less than three feet from the window.

Marvelling at the presence of the hawk at such close quarters, while simultaneously being puzzled by it, I did not connect it to the loud thud.

Upstairs all seemed to be as normal . . . . . until I noticed shards of glass scattered across the double bed and surrounding carpet. Slightly stunned and definitely bewildered, I slowly scanned the room and in disbelief spotted in one of the window panes a jagged hole, surprisingly small in relation to the shower of glass. On the flat roof alongside was a mass of white feathers. What now? Neighbourly moral and practical support and a reassuring cup of tea. But the “drama”, not yet over, was about to take a comic turn. Looking up at the broken window from the outside as I sipped my tea, my credulity was further stretched by a dove perched on the inside bar of the sash window looking out.
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Exasperation at what appeared to be the stupidity of the dove in flying into a room through a broken window was succeeded by farcical frustration as my neighbour and I futilely pursued the dove round and round the room. Finally, the old trick of throwing a tea towel over its head eventually led to its capture.
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Carrying the dove out into the garden, so light within the tea towel, with its alert eyes peeping out, was quite a special moment.
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A rational explanation for such bizarre events? Possibly the sparrowhawk had swooped on the dove which had panicked and been briefly stunned as it crashed through the window.
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Unexpected? To me, certainly, but according to glaziers not that uncommon. Miraculously, both birds were unharmed. Three special memories remain: that close view of the sparrow hawk; holding the dove in my hands; and my neighbour’s willingness to abandon everything to help me. All part and parcel of living in Roundhill!
This page was last updated by Ted on 11-Nov-2013
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