The Boss's Dog

Brandishing the cocky

By The General

She's not the sharing type, my Mum. 

Never has been, now I think about it.

Yesterday she found this cockatoo down the back of the garden - dead as a  maggot, I reckon - but not long dead.... and good enough for a dog, if you know what I mean.

It would have been good enough for me anyway - if I'd got there first. But even then she'd probably pull rank and rip it off me.

You probably don't know how hard it is to sit there and watch your Mum tear a cockatoo apart, and eat it slowly, right before your very eyes.

The first thing she did was bring it over to The Boss to show him. Mostly he will take a bird off us, just to remind us that we're supposed to bring all birds back to him, like he does with rabbits. But sometimes he'll give a rabbit back to us if we've hunted it up ourselves. 

But this time he shook his head and told Queenie he didn't want it. He said he reckoned it was the lone cocky hanging around the pool the day before. It was drinking out of the pool water and sat there for 15 minutes before flying off.

The Boss told the missus he reckoned it was crook and said the chlorine in the pool water wouldn't do it any good.

Poisoned it, probably. Like a Russian double agent trying to have a nice life in England. No such thing.

Anyway, The Boss got distracted talking about all the trouble the cockies and corellas are causing in town and didn't notice Queenie was dissecting the thing. He told the missus everyone had been complaining about the mess they were causing around the Plane trees, of which Shepparton has many. 

They seem to like hopping into the seed pods right now and dropping them - throwing them at speed, some say - from the treetops.

The Boss reckons the mobs of cockies and corellas have been building up for years because of the cropping and the spare seed it offers them. When he was a young feller, he says you wouldn't see corellas down this way - they were mainly a dry country bird from the Channel Country and have become quite abundant in the last 20 years.

The missus like watching the mobs when they swirl around in the late afternoon looking for a place to roost. Quite a sight, she says.

At which The Boss mumbles it isn't so good if they land in your garden.

But he says the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo has held its own, building up huge mobs as well. A few years back he put up a rope swing off a big red gum hanging over the river so the offspring could have a bit of fun swinging over the river - and the cockies bit it off in a few days. 

So he decided to put an end to that and got hold of a long, thick nylon rope and managed to haul that up there, by casting a fishing lure over the high branch and reeling in the end of the rope. It was quite an operation but it worked.

Straight away the cockies started having their own fun, swinging off the bottom of the nylon rope - it seemed to amuse them. But The Boss wasn't worried - said they were welcome to it and they've never do any damage to that nylon rope.

Except a week later, the nylon rope was gone! Three feet of it left dangling from the high branch.

Those cockies sure have power on those jaws when they put their minds to it. The Boss never tried hanging a rope off the trees again. Woof.