The Common Mynas and the Rat by Maretha Botha– Part 1
Not everything in the woods are always as it seems. While the monkeys chatter happily in the trees and the good humans are reading to their grandchildren, others are making mischief.
One such character is a dark-feathered bird, called the common myna. He looks like a robber – black head and neck, yellow feet and legs, beak and eye patch. White wing patches show underneath his mud-brown feathers.
He and his partner are outlaws as far as other birds in the forest are concerned. These mynas find their way around other birds’ nests, causing great misery.
This morning is no exception and even the monkeys stop their constant chattering to hear what the odd-looking pair of mynas cackle about.
‘I’ll show those crimson-breasted shrikes what I can do!’ and then the male kicks their remaining egg out of the nest and whistle shrilly, ‘Be quick! There’s no time to waste.
Those crimson-breasted shrikes will be back from their foraging trip soon.
My dear one, lay another egg. They’re so silly and didn’t even notice our different egg in their nest yesterday. ’His partner is there in a flash, making non-stop gurgling sounds of joy, while laying another egg.
Down below, a big fat rat with straw-coloured fur squeaks, ‘That was a tasty titbit! Be a good neighbour and throw down another egg, will you?’
The two robbers cast black beady eyes on the rat and cackle, ‘Why should we be good neighbours? Even those monkeys don’t want us, but we’ll have many babies this year and the silly crimson-breasted shrikes are going to help us. They just don’t know it yet!’
Then the pair flies off hastily, leaving the rat to devour all evidence of the crimson-breasted shrikes’ egg.
The monkeys are upset and decide to chat to Wisdom, the spotted eagle-owl, about those horrible birds.
They are sure that he would have a plan how to get rid of the bad rat in the undergrowth too. Meanwhile, they begin to chant.
The Monkeys’ Chant About the Mynas:
Most horrid birds in a tree
Yodelling about their feast, you see
Never you mind, you egg robbing thieves!
Assured we are of Wisdom’s cleaves . . .
Summarily he’ll see the end of yee!
About Maretha Botha
African Adventure Books:
Book 1 – Flame and Hope: An African Adventure
Book 2 – Friends: An African Adventure
Meet Maretha Online: