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Perched upon the penultimate branch of his favourite red gum, Rory, the remarkably intelligent magpie, surveyed the world around him. The sun was just beginning to cast its gentle golden glow across the landscape, painting everything in a warm and inviting hue. This was Rory's time—a time to observe, interact, and engage with his humans, as he liked to call them.


Rory's relationship with his humans was a unique one. He had a knack for understanding their patterns and behaviours, and he took delight in the way they responded to his elaborate swooping routines. Whether it was their morning jog, their leisurely afternoon strolls, or even their occasional picnics, Rory's presence was always acknowledged. His acrobatic swoops and melodious songs provided a touch of charm to their daily lives, and they, in turn, unknowingly became a part of his routine.


But on this particular morning, something felt amiss. As Rory perched on his branch, he sensed a shift in the air, a disturbance in the usual ebb and flow of his humans' activities. His keen eyes noticed that they moved with a sense of purpose, yet there was an undercurrent of unease in their gestures. His humans were no longer zigging and zagging in response to his swooping routines. Instead, their movements were purposeful, deliberate, and devoid of the usual carefree spirit.


Rory cocked his head to the side, his intelligent eyes narrowing as he observed them closely. He wondered what had brought about this change, this departure from the norm. His curiosity was piqued, and his instincts told him that something significant was unfolding before him.


As the morning wore on, Rory's perch on the red gum tree granted him an increasingly clear view of the unfolding events. Slowly, he pieced together the puzzle. A sombre gathering had formed, and the humans' gestures were now imbued with an unmistakable sadness. The truth slowly settled in Rory's perceptive mind—this was no ordinary occasion. His humans were coming together to bid farewell to one of their own.


The gravity of the situation wasn't lost on Rory. While he may not have comprehended the intricacies of human life and death, he understood the weight of emotions that hung in the air. A sense of melancholy wafted through the atmosphere, and it tugged at his sensitive heart.


And then, as the mourners began to disperse, Rory's gaze was drawn to a distant figure—a solitary human, standing apart from the rest. Their shoulders were slumped, their gaze fixed on the ground, lost in a world of thoughts and memories. This was the figure that had captured Rory's attention.


With a few powerful flaps of his wings, Rory took flight from his perch, gliding gracefully through the air until he was hovering just above the grieving individual. In this moment, he abandoned his usual swooping antics. Instead, he maintained a gentle and reverent distance, as if acknowledging the depth of sorrow that surrounded this human.


As the scene below played out, Rory remained a silent and dignified observer. His usual routines seemed insignificant in the face of the raw emotions that were on display. He watched, a solitary sentinel, as the humans paid their respects to their fallen companion.


And then, as the proceedings drew to a close, Rory resumed his flight, soaring higher into the sky. As he looked down upon the gathering, he let out a melodious trill—a tribute of sorts, a way to convey that he, too, acknowledged the significance of this moment. His song, though simple, carried with it a message of empathy and understanding.


With one final swoop, Rory circled back towards his favourite red gum tree, alighting once more on the penultimate branch. The day had been unlike any other, a day that had transcended his usual routines and brought him face to face with the profound nature of human emotions. As the sun continued its ascent, casting a warm and hopeful glow, Rory couldn't help but reflect on the intricacies of life, death, and the connections that bound all living beings together. And perhaps, in his own unique way, he had offered a touch of solace to a grieving heart—a heart that, like his own, beat with the rhythms of existence.


And so, the intelligent magpie resumed his perch, ready to embrace whatever the seasons of life and the skies had in store for him, knowing that his world was not just defined by swoops and songs, but by the profound tapestry of experiences that unfolded beneath his watchful gaze.

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