Monday, March 20, 2023


 Dear Readers,

                                  The Narcissist

I picked up a bird in a car park the other day and she had more than a broken wing. She was pushing a trolley as full as it could be. She was wandering around as if she was looking for her car. I asked what her problem was and fighting back tears she told me that her husband, who had their only car, had left her behind. So I offered to take her home which turned out to be about 15 ks away.

On the way she told me about life with her very ‘narcissistic’ (her word) husband. She was the bread winner while her husband was unemployed. They had evidently had a row over something or other and he drove off in their only car. They were living in the house that belonged to her mother who is dead now but she doesn’t have the money to transfer it into her name.

When I asked her if her husband knocked her around she said: “Not any more because I got an order against him.” They have several children. Some support their mother while others have sided with the father.

Asked why she didn’t leave her husband she said it was because he had threatened to harm members of her family.

Some men are real bastards.

                                       Terrible Parenting

         While walking my dog recently along a road next to a vlei that borders the estate where I live I picked up another bird who was also in tears. This one was aged about 12 or 14 and she was carrying a small dog. She also had another one which was a little bit bigger that was walking ahead of her. Neither dog had a collar on and she didn’t have any leads.

My dog. The girl's dog that was running ahead was
a little bit bigger than mine

          When she approached what she told me was her house, which was one of the impressively large ones bordering the water front, the dog ahead of her just kept on going. It wasn’t exactly running away but it would not come back to her. So I told her to walk with me to my house a few streets away in the hope that I would be able to get all the dogs to go into our front gate so that I could then pick her’s up and take her and her dogs home.

         This worked out perfectly. But when I got to the house I had another eye opener. There was not a bell on the main gate so she told me that the small side one was not locked. I went in there and managed to rouse her father. He was evidently having a braai with friends at the front of the house.

         I told him he should not have allowed his daughter to go walking with two dogs neither of which had collars or leads. He mumbled something about them having leads.

         Then he took the ‘Terrible Parenting’ prize with this remark, “We were wondering what had happened to her.”

         Bird watching is one thing but when you start picking them up you enter an entirely new world of human frailty to put it politely.


         Jon, a Consumer Watchdog and Poor Man’s Press Ombudsman, who is happy to provide a different kind of service on occasions like this, but who much prefers sitting on the beach with his high powered binoculars looking at the birds there.







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