The grackles flew into the oleander hedge every morning at sunrise and woke me with their raucous shrieks.
Betty, my neighbor, threatened to cut down the hedge. “I just hate all that squawking,” she said.
“Please, don’t cut the oleanders,” I replied.
One day I returned from work to find the hedge reduced to bare sticks jutting from the leaf-strewn earth. True to her threat, Betty had cut down the oleanders. Three days later, Betty died.
The oleanders have regrown now, but the grackles have not returned and I awaken to silence.
I miss the grackles more than I miss Betty.
Amanda Le Rougetel says
Bad Betty! Who needs a neighbour like that…
Robert Bishop says
Amanda…too right, and that is just what the grackles thought as they made sure Betty would never again hack down a hedge. Thanks for reading and commenting.
I learnt a new word from this story. Are we expected to believe that Betty’s unfortunate demise was a co-incidence? Call the cops!
Derek…yeah, well, the police were suspicious, too, of Betty’s demise. I told them she made a grave mistake by dissing the Great Grackle. Nobody disses the Great Grackle and lives to brag about it. Thanks for reading and commenting.
Geneviève Goggin says
I love this story! I especially like that we don’t know how Betty died.
Hi Geneviève, I’m glad you enjoyed the story. Thanks for reading. Ah yes, will the cause of Betty’s death ever be known….maybe some day.
In the end, you got the best of all worlds: no more squawking, no more annoying neighbor, and regrown oleander hedge. Great story!
Hi G…thanks for reading and the kind remark. Glad you liked the story.
Bob Ellis says
Grackles are the only bird I dislike here in our bird preserve community. I have written a published fictional account outling my displeasure with them building nests in my boat lift and pooping all over my boat. They are also adept at knocking lizards from the pool cage and eating them. Smart birds – yes, lamenting their departure – never!
Hi Bob…I first encountered grackles in Las Cruces, NM. I thought they were pretty cool birds. Noisy, yes, but that was the attraction.
David Higham says
A really ingenious story. Loved it.
Hi David…thanks for reading and the for the kind remark. Glad you liked the story.
Really liked it!
Hi Marie…thanks for reading. Glad you liked the story.
I’d miss the foliage and the fowl, too. Adios Betty!
Hi Sandra…Thanks for reading. Yep, adios, Betty. A sad ending for her, unless she is reincarnated as a grackle and ends up in the hedge every morning.
Nice karmic tale.