[News item, 8.10.94: The (New Zealand) Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society
wants Australian bell-magpies, gymnorhina hypoleuca, introduced 120 years ago to
control cattle ticks, to be culled because they attack people and drive out native birds.]
A new yelping from Footrot Flats
Turns out to be the cough and whine
Of rifles, and the beating of butts
on pied feathers and wishbones.
Pew in the lead
The terrified kin wheel away
Leaving two dying by the road
And last year's grey fledgeling
Pummelling the rick with one good wing.
Having plucked enough ticks
From commercial pastures
The magpie can now be exposed
As a mere unwelcome Australian,
Another exotic trespasser,
A black-and-white alien.
Being an expression of the piety
of the New Zealand Bird Protection Society.