I was awoken in the early hours, just as dawn was breaking, by my husband – trying to punch me in the face! No, I’m not a battered wife: he’s just a very vivid dreamer. On occasions, he has dreamt that he’s a wolf, or is being pursued through the streets with a crowd following him. This time, apparently, he was trying to ward off a street seller who was persuading him forcibly to buy a fizzy drink. I take heart that my strictures about junk food have found root in his subconscious!
It’s surprising that we get any sleep at all at this time of year, what with the dog demanding to be let out at all hours so that he can eat grass or bark at hedgehogs and the cat, who is small but fierce, keening like a banshee below the bedroom window to defend his territory from the large and thuggish tom-cat next door. This morning, as my husband and I lay awake in the dawn listening to these various noises, we heard the (temporarily) local cuckoo.
“There’s the cuckoo,” he said, “unless it’s Fred again.”
I was trying to get back to sleep, but my ears pricked up.
“What do you mean, unless it’s Fred again?”
“Didn’t I tell you? Fred impersonates birds really well. He has a whole range in his repertoire. He does a really good cuckoo. He said that a cuckoo came right up to his house the other day, before it realised that it was only a human and flew off again.”
I considered. I’ve been writing enthusiastically about hearing the cuckoos for weeks now. Since Fred has seen at least one of them, and it’s unlikely that in fact it was he out there before 5 a.m. today, it can’t always have been his impersonations that I’ve heard. Nevertheless, if you should happen to look over my recent cuckoo posts again, I feel duty bound to warn you that all the cuckoo noises I’ve recorded may not have emanated from cuckoos. Instead, a burly Yorkshireman named Fred may have been responsible.
Nothing else in my day today matched its surreal beginning! Perhaps I’m going cuckoo!