Survival of the Fittest

This is young ‘Percy’ 

s/he arrived in the garden in a cardboard box, carried there by two young students, where they found the young gull is anyone’s guess, possibly wandering in the middle of the road, that is where most of these young flightless birds come to a sticky end. I watched it for a few days, no parent came near, its chances of survival, were at best poor. With no parent to feed or teach the youngster, I did not fancy s/he’s chances of survival.

But after a month, and to my surprise, Percy was still wandering from one end of the garden to the other trying anything that might look edible, Percy stumped the growth of a few Lupins, but no real damage done, seems we have the only vegetarian gull in St Andrews.

Today I found a slice of Lorain sausage in the back of the fridge, a sausage sandwich would be nice I thought, but once cooked and I bit into the sandwich, well, it just did not taste right, I decided to forego sausage, and instead have boiled egg and toast for breakfast.

I was about to toss the sandwich in the bin when I spotted Percy outside the kitchen window. Whether attracted by my presence in the kitchen or the smell of cooking wafting through the open window I have no idea, but instead of chucking the sandwich in the bin I decided to chop up the sausage into ‘beak size’ pieces and tossed it out to Percy. Instantly Percy was alert and dashed forward to where the food had landed on the grass.

As this saga was being played out we had a watcher in the form of a young fully-fledged gull that had been on sentry duty, atop of a dormer window across the street, the young bird saw a potential meal, and swooped down to the garden and tried to bully young Percy from the prize. Well that ‘orphan of the storm’ must have been an extremely hungry youngster, for Percy tore into ‘Johnny come lately’ grabbing hold of her rump with such aggression that the young bird, twice the size of Percy, ran off, flapping madly trying to escape into the air. Finally she did, leaving behind a lot of squawking and not a few feathers,

I though – Percy my boy (or could be a girl), I think you are a survivor.   

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