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The Tale of Mooey the Maggie

Where do I start with this tale?

You see, this one is a hard tale to tell, and one I’d been putting off, as Mooey is no longer with us and it has left a gaping hole here at the homestead.

OK, here we go, hope you have your cuppa ready!

It was mid Spring last year.
Mark came home from work and announced:
“I’m not sure if I should tell you this, but I know if I don’t, then you’ll never forgive me”…….
So, of course, I was intrigued!
“There’s a baby magpie on the ground just outside our gate”
I’ve jumped up
“Why did you leave it there!?!?! Are it’s parents there??? Is it ok???” and with that I ran towards the gate, where, there, at the bottom of a tree, sat this tiny little magpie that couldn’t of been more than a couple of weeks old, screeching for it’s parents.

I’ve looked and looked, and there were no parents in sight.

I picked the baby up and felt how skinny it was.
It hadn’t eaten for a while.
I also noticed it’s funny looking feet.
I had a horrid feeling that this baby was actually pushed out of the nest, but we will still hunted for the parents.

In the meantime, this baby needed a feed.

Now, me being me, I’ve always got all sorts of animal feed supplies, supplements and first aid kits!

I had some raw steak in the fridge, so I cut some up into smaller pieces, rolled and it in some calcium supplement powder and some insectivore powder, just for some added vitamins.

I offered it a piece and immediately it started with the feeding call, good sign!
It took several pieces and then got cosy in my tshirt.
I got a syringe of water and started to dribble a little in it’s mouth, which it readily accepted!
After a good feed and water, it took a nap. Right there in my tshirt.

Full Belly!

This poor little baby was now content.

I tried for several days in a row, hours on end, to find it’s parents.
I even put it in a box near where Mark found it, and left it to call.

Well, that was the start of it all really!!

Obviously, there’s a little more to it, but this silly little magpie became part of the family, so we called him Mooey.

While Mooey was only tiny and couldn’t fly, he stayed in with us, in a cat carrier with a warm hot water bottle and blankets during the night, then with me (when I wasn’t working) during the day. I’d come home from work at lunch just to feed him and make sure he was warm enough.

In bed with me!

Mooey found it an effort to get around at the start, as his feet grew on a funny angle, and he would waddle around, then just flop, but he soon figured it out and was free to roam the house as he pleased. He was still too little to go outside on his own, so I would take him on regular walks and we’d find bugs here and there.

His favourite spot was, most definitely, the veggie patch.
This crazy little bird was obsessed with peas!!!
Without word of a lie, we did not harvest a single pea last year as Mooey hunted them out and scoffed them down!

Not long after Mooey arrived, we noticed he was taking small fits. We had him looked at and there was nothing they could do. Being a wild bird, we were told to just set him free, to be a bird and whatever will be, will be.

Well, technically, yes, we should have, as it is illegal to keep native wildlife as pets without the appropriate license.

But, well, I’m stubborn and wouldn’t do such a thing.

Not just that, but by now, WE were the only parents he had, we weren’t going to just turf him out to fend for himself!

I could tell you of all the adventures we had together, the antics that this wacky little bird got up to, but I’m not going to put you through endless hours of reading!!

Let’s just say, this bird was such a character and brought so much joy to our lives, that we couldn’t imagine him not being here!

Mooey had a bit of a toe fetish! No visitor was safe to enter if they weren’t wearing shoes!!!

All this foot attacking is tiring work, obviously!

He would also sleep in the most unusual position.
Flat on his back!!

Mooey had been with us for several weeks, and we got to the stage that we really thought he couldn’t fly. I mean, his feet were stuffed, so it wouldn’t be out of the question.
And then one day…..
He flew!!!!
We walked out to put Elvis (my stock horse gelding) back into his paddock, Mooey on my shoulder and Elvis walking behind us.
We made it to Elvis’s gate, turned around to close it, and Mooey, just, flew!!!
Not just any little first time fly, this was a full 100 meter zoom!!
He landed in a tree, just above the horse feed shed, where he proceeded to sing and was sounding like the king of the world!!!
I was dumbfounded!!!
So now what! He got up there, could he get down?? That was a loooooooong way up!!

With some coaxing and the promise of worms, he jumped down onto the roof of the shed, where Mark was able to reach up and get him!

He was quite proud of himself!!

From that day on, Mooey was free to come and go as he pleased, yet he still chose to spend 99% of his time with us.

He would bring us presents on a regular basis. A cable tie here, a funnel from the kitchen shelf and he kept an impressive pile of little rocks, just by the door!

He would wander in, with his little treasure, and announce he was here by sqwaking or warbling, then drop the present at my feet, for me to thank him and praise him.

I still have all his ‘presents’ to this day.

We have a gap under the shed door that he would duck under to go out and come back in. No doggy door required here!

Though, every evening, around 6pm, he would come home, call out to let us know he was home, and come to have dinner with us.

Then come dark, I would put him in a big dog crate with his perch and blankets, where he would tuck in until daylight.

This crazy bundle of feathers, became such an integral part of our family, that his passing affected me badly, I thought I’d lost my best friend.

Mooey was by my side every day, since his arrival, and he CHOSE to stay by my side, even after he was capable of looking after himself. He CHOSE us as his family, and for that, I will be forever grateful that he swooped into our lives.

Helping with the knitting!

For a few days, we noticed his fits were getting closer together and lasting longer.

On his last day, he did not recover from his fit.

I held him tight while he passed, telling him just how much we loved him and thanking him for coming into our lives, bringing us so much joy and love.

It was a while ago now that we lost him, but as I type this, the tears flow steadily.

“How can you love a Magpie so much?”, you ask.

My answer:

“Well, you clearly haven’t been loved by a Magpie, and until you are, you will never know that unconditional love of a feathered friend”.

Love is: being kissed by a magpie!

Mooey will forever be in our hearts as he lays to rest outside my bedroom window.

I will never regret taking in this skinny, wonky and wacky little bird, instead we remember him fondly, and still, I leave the poo stains on the back of the couch and the floor, as a reminder that:

“Mooey was ‘ere”

Until next time…..

Live Life to the Fullest, Love Beyond Words and Laugh Like No one can Hear You!

Blessed be all.

– Amy and Mark XX


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