Satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else’s misfortune.
Magpies are schadenfreuden sunsubitches!
You can see it in their beady little eyes, and as the weather warms up so too does their appetite for causing fear and panic in the streets.
Having spent most of my life being unfairly targeted by these spring demons of the sky, I had come to terms with the fact that one day I would lose an eye to a wing. But that acceptance doesn’t mean that I don’t throw my arms above my head every time I see a bird’s shadow.
A few days ago I was walking through Garema Place eating lunch on the move when a bastard magpie flew from a tree and onto a bench 10 metres to my left. 10 metres is a fair distance but that didn’t stop me from falling into the foetal position and screaming abuse at the flying bully. The magpie, satisfied that he had successfully made me look like an idiot in the middle of the city, flew away and I rose to my feet and brushed the sausage roll from my shirt.
“It’s da food it wants. Dem tings’ll do anyfing for a sausage roll.” Said a pirate looking lady with a funny lisp.
I thanked her for the advice and headed back to the bakery from which I came.
“Another sausage roll please” said I.
“Another one? You are a hungry boy!” said baker.
“It’s not for me” said I.
I walked onto the street with my sausage roll, scanned the skies, then scanned the street.
“Hey you! Small child! I’ll give you a sausage roll if you walk back to my office with me” said I.
“Ok” said the trusting child.
“Great. You walk 7 meters ahead of me with the sausage roll in the air and I’ll just tag along”.
Success. I learnt a valuable lesson. Magpies swoop for two reasons. One, to make us feeble humans look stupid in defence. Two, for sausage rolls. Sausage rolls trump embarrassment.
And, it turns out that I’m a schadenfreuden sunuvubitch too!
Dear Canberrans, I implore you, don’t leave your home this spring without a sausage roll to give to a friendly pedestrian who’s walking your way.