"HI DEN!" said Cheery Di. "This is your early morning wake up and rescue call!"
I didn't need this. I felt like crap after a bad night of coughing and wheezing. Di said the council ranger had found a sick frogmouth in Victoria Park, and I was the only one available to take the call. Another hour in bed wouldn't help since I'd be wheezing and coughing, so I might as well be up, doing something and wheezing and coughing.
The lawn was white with frost. I checked the thremometer: -2C outside. Oh goody.
First stop was at the mall to buy some cold and flu capsules. The pharmacy was closed but the supermarket was open. I hoped they had something stronger than asprin. They did! Apparetly. The box was labelled Night & Day Cold & Flu, but the list of ingredients were all herbal. Bugger. I wanted DRUGS, dammit! I needed something that would take to the symptoms with a cricket bat and would make my head go "Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-POP!" I didn't want something to sit beside the symptom and tell it that what it was doing was really really uncool, man.
So I bought the hippie drugs, a bottle of soda water and a packet of crisps, called that Breakfast and went looking for the bird. I found the ranger after ten minutes of wandering around Victoria Park. He was being intimidated by a fully grown frogmouth. The bird was snapping its huge beak and flaring it's wings. It was doing everything except trying to get away: not a good sign. He started telling me about how he found it, then he paused and said "There he goes again." The frogmoth had closed his eyes and was doubled over in pain. The spasm passed and he went back to his Big Scary Frogmouth poses.
"Oh boy," I muttered.
"I think it's poisoned. It probably picked up a sick mouse. Have you laid rat baits anywhere?"
The poor ranger looked upset. They'd laid rat-sak in one of the storage sheds. Ugh. Bloody warfarin. I told the ranger about one of the local pest cortol companies that sells a non-heomorragic bait that doesn't cause secondary poisoning. The poor bloke looked really upset and I told him that very few people realise the secondary poisong effects, and at least the bird has a chance now that I could get it to a vet. I'll know later how the bird is doing. If it really is poisoned I don't have much hope it'll survive.
Two hours had passed and the hippy drug wad not helped my cold. On the way home I called in at a pharmacy and bought a packet of "Die You Filthy Microscopic Bastards" containing codeine and pseudoephedrin. I feel much better now.