Sunday, August 16, 2009

The magpie and the mysterious burning balloon

Sometimes it takes a good friend to help me understand what's
really going on in my life. Thanks Mark!

A little over a week ago three strange things happened.
First, on Thursday evening we were out in the garden enjoying the nice weather when suddenly the serene Summer evening was disrupted by lots of sirens: fire trucks, a police car and an ambulance. The sirens went on and on and on and it sounded like the fire trucks were driving around in circles. We thought some factory producing chemicals had exploded or something but Friday's newspaper revealed that all those firemen and policemen were in search of a burning balloon that was reported to have crashed. It wasn't the balloonist who had made an emergency call but rather someone living in the area who thought they'd seen a burning balloon pass by and suddenly disappear. We'd seen two balloons shortly before but they weren't burning. After searching for about 1.5 hours the firemen and policemen gave up. No balloon was found or officially reported missing, nobody knows what really happened.

Then on Saturday as mum was writing a birthday card, back door open to let the Summer breeze freshen up the house, she heard the flapping of wings. Thinking it was a bird that just landed on the wall between our neighbour's garden and ours she looked up and saw a magpie in our kitchen on the counter! We're not interested in such pets so she chased it off.

On Sunday I was talking on Skype when mum came into the room to warn me that two teenage guys were standing in front of our house, looking up at my room (or the neighbour's) and typing something into their mobile phones. She asked if it was possible for them to hack into my phone or my computer. She made very sure the guys knew she was watching them and after a while they disappeared.

To me those were three separate, remarkable events but Mark made me see how they were connected: the magpie knew where the burning balloon had ended up and came to tell us so we could sell the story and photographs and be famous and rich but, as many animals these days, it was fitted with a transmitter and those two guys, being on a treasure hunt, knowing the magpie had entered our house and thinking it was still there, in the attic somewhere, were trying to pick up the transmitter's signal on their mobile phones.
I would never have thought of that!

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