This flea-bitten fellow hung out at our chookyard most of December and January.  The kids named him Captain Hook, but in my mind he was The Claw!  Who knows why he managed to live as long as he clearly has, although this picture makes him look frail and he most certainly was not. We couldn’t figure out how he even ate, but his feet were nimble and he just chawed down whatever he could grab a hold of, looking not unlike a mafiosa chewing on a big old cigar.  I thought for sure, that the other cockies would abandon him, if not kill him, until we saw him lift that hook of a beak like a sabre at a marauding magpie. I was frightened.  The mafiosa analogy reared its intimidating head again and again.  He was a vicious bloodyminded bird, who screeched at any chickens approaching him (in their own home too!) and savagely gnawed off my sunflowers. Mongrel bastard bird! There was no love lost between us, believe me!  He made me itch, just looking at him.
We’ve had an Indian Summer here in Murrumbateman, and wherever he went in February, I think the last blast from Summer’s oven may have finally knocked him off his perch.  The cockatoo gang that he led seems to have returned.  Without him.  I can’t help but wonder if he is sizing me up before he makes his appearance.  I also wonder if cockatoos murder their own, in the privacy of the bush.  But most of all I wonder, how on earth did his beak get that long?

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