This story takes place about twenty feet outside our kitchen window. A lot of stories take place out there while we’re having breakfast or lunch. Dinner theatre, if you will.
First of all, the cast
The obnoxious tease: a Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia)
Elegant, mischievous, and highly energetic.
And the victim: a Mule Deer (Odocoileus hemionus)
Getting some last-minute touch ups and acting advice from Mom.
And now for the story
It begins with two friends just hanging out and enjoying the sun. So far, it looks pretty relaxing. Idyllic even.
After a bit, Magpie gets bored and decides to tease his friend, Buck, who’s a little too zoned out and not much fun. He braces his foot against his friend’s rump and starts pulling out hair.
No reaction. So he grabs Buck’s tail and starts really shaking it around.
Unbelievable! Still no reaction. So Magpie decides to pull a few hairs out of his ol’ buddy’s ear.
As you can see, Magpie’s deer friend continues to nap in the sun. He’s absolutely no fun at all. Finally, out of total frustration, Magpie yells at Buck and tells him to do something. Anything. Just do something.
And the under-enthusiastic, dozy deer finally does react to his overly-enthusiastic magpie friend.
OK. So now what?
Is Buck simply going to put his head down again and close his eyes because he feels dozy? Is Magpie going to climb up on Buck’s back again and get bored? Are they going to start the whole thing all over again?
A ritual? Repeat? Repeat? Repeat? Even the annoying stuff? All over again? I’ve seen them do it before. Lots of times.
I wonder if I do that. I wonder if I, too, just keep repeating the annoying stuff in my life. I’m supposed to be learning from my mistakes. But am I? Sometimes I don’t think so.
Maybe that age-old learning-from-your-mistakes adage is like the practice-makes-perfect adage. Routine practice, however, certainly does not make perfect. Only deliberate and perfect practice makes perfect.
OK, I say again. So now what?
I don’t know. Maybe I’ll just go get a cup of coffee. I can always come back to this tomorrow.
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