Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fears under the bright sun

Spring has sprung here in Australia. It's getting warm, birds are singing, grass is growing, lawns are being mowed (I write this to remind myself that I need to get the mower out...)

Spring also brings one of the things I fear most in the world. Magpies.

Magpies are a songbird that can be found in Europe, Asia and Australia. There was a theory being mooted a few years ago that all songbirds have evolved from the magpie. This is a magpie singing:

Pretty, isn't it? It's a lovely sound to wake to.

Unfortunately, they don't just sing. In springtime, when they are nesting, they do this:

I first got swooped by a magpie when I was 11 years old. We were walking home from school, and my brothers and I decided (for reasons that must have been apparent at the time) that rather than go around a tree, we would climb up and through the fork in the middle of the tree. My two brothers got through not a problem. I was stradling the fork in the tree when something hit the back of my head - hard.

I was down that tree and across the paddock in record-breaking time. I was crying, shaking, screaming. One of my brothers went back to get my school bag and I screamed when he was swooped. We took so long to get home that my father ended up coming out to find us.

I've been terrified of magpies ever since. My terror is not helped by the fact that there's something about me that magpies love - I've been swooped the length and breadth of this great country.

I don't mind magpies in general. I'm quite happy to walk right next to one on the ground any other time of the year. But in swooping season...

So while it's bright and sunny and getting warm here in Australia while in the Northern Hemisphere things are darkening and Halloween looms, don't worry - there's still enough here to scare the willies out of us at this time of the year.

Oh, and in case you were wondering - yeah, spring is when the spiders and snakes get active.

Who'd live in Australia, huh? ME!


To help me get over my fear, why not buy one of my books? The electronic versions of the Dream of Asarlai trilogy is on special at the moment. Each book is just $3!
Apple/iTunes -

Kindle -

Kobo -
Don't forget - buy the Kobo books, read them on the Kobo app on iPhone or iPad and you can read my author comments in all three books!


Bonnie said...

Hi Nicole,
I loved your magpie story.
I picked up a copy of your book.
Thanks so much

Nicole Murphy said...

Thanks Bonnie - that helps a lot with the fear :)

Hope you have a great time reading.