Sepia Saturday 38 – what’s Auntie holding?

I found this very small photo of my Granny and my Auntie H and could easily make out the Border Terrier, but wondered what Auntie was holding:
After scanning and cropping I now see who it is – it’s Jackie Jackdaw!  I know the story but I didn’t realise I had a picture of this cheeky character.
As a boy, Dad befriended a young jackdaw and it became very tame.  Jackie often used to sit on the handlebars of Dad’s bike when he cycled to school and fly back to meet him when school finished.  Jackdaws are like magpies and are drawn to shiny things – and Jackie grew up to be a persistent opportunistic thief.  He spent a lot of time on the roof of the air raid shelter, where a stash of bottle tops and milk tokens was discovered.  He was also in the habit of dive-bombing visitors who were smoking outside and relieving them of their lit cigars.
Due to his kleptomaniac tendencies, Jackie was quite unpopular with the adults in the family and Granny (allegedly) put him in the boot of the car one day and drove him some distance before releasing him.  As he was a wild bird, I suspect no harm came to him as a result of his change in circumstances, and I wonder if he befriended another family in order to satisfy his need for shiny things and cigars :-)
Read more Sepia Saturday posts as launched by Alan Burnett and Kat Mortensen in 2009
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About Jo

Professional Scottish genealogist - this blog is for my own family history and photos
This entry was posted in Great Granny's album, Sepia Saturday and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Sepia Saturday 38 – what’s Auntie holding?

  1. Tattered and Lost says:

    Wonderful story. Love when we can have a friendship with a wild animal. I once had a bluejay that used to visit everyday expecting to be fed. He’d sit on my hand and gather sunflower seeds then take off to go eat. Then he’d be back for more. There were times he just hopped right into my apartment and followed me to where the seed was kept.

    Thanks for the memories.

  2. mrsmarvel says:

    That’s a great story! An old friend told me a story of a starling that always returned to his home each spring. They called him Pooper, because, well, that’s what he did. Pooper would sit on my friend’s foot as he worked in the yard. He was well fed – the family bought meal worms for him and his starling buddies.

  3. Pat says:

    I am glad you explained what a jackdaw is, I was puzzled for awhile. Our cousin’s son had a crow that he rescued from the swamp and nursed to health; Jim became a pest to the adults too and was released. I think next week I’ll find and post that photo.

  4. Alan Burnett says:

    Wonderful tale based on a great old photograph. I have to admire any animal that enjoys a good cigar. You did well to recognise the jackdaw from the photograph, I looked at the image carefully before reading your post and could not make out what on earth it was.

  5. Muse Swings says:

    What a great picture! I noticed the window open behind them. Must be a lovely day. Central air has taken away all opportunity for billowing curtains and a summer breeze. I love the jackdaw story! We have fish crows and starlings in the area, but they are totally without personality and don’t smoke.

  6. jinksy says:

    I once rescued a baby thrush, and played ‘Mum’ to him until he was old enough to fly – which he only did after a lot of persuasion. Finally, I threw him up in the air towards my husband, as if he were a ball, and he suddenly got the mesage, and flew up onto the roof. At which point, I had a great urge to yell ‘Be careful, you’ll fall!’ LOL :)

  7. Jo says:

    Thanks for all your comments – I really appreciate them. And Dad would have been so tickled to read all your Birdie Stories :-)

  8. Great story about a cool bird..this old photo is marvelous:)

  9. Carol says:

    Congrats on the new blog, those tractor photos for Locomotion were terrific. During the early 1900’s Man’s great grandfather worked for Dean & Company who sold farm wagons, windmills, they were also an agent for National Safe & Lock, buggies, cultivators and steel storage tanks. We know he also worked for Parlin & Orendorff Plow Company and the Wisconsin Carriage Company. It has been a while since I tried to research these companies, me thinks it might be time again! LOL

    • Jo says:

      Thanks Carol – you two need to get over to Manitoba and see the agric museum, they’ve added loads more since the 1970’s. After Dad restored the Rumley to working condition (not painted but running) he entered it into the Edinburgh Royal Highland Show Vintage Tractor section. As it ran on paraffin to start, followed by petrol (I think) when he fired it up, it covered everyone within a 10m radius in specks of greasy black soot. Looking at YouTube I suspect it may have been an Oil Pull Start – must look through the photos and see if I have one of it for the next “Locomotion”

    • Jo says:

      Hi Carol – how did the research go? I see you’re pretty busy with your current Road Trip, but Manitoba could be on the Menu for the summer

  10. Joan says:

    I love the thought of Granny taking Jackdaw for a nice little drive! Great story.

  11. Nancy says:

    How sad that she just drove him away in the car! How your dad must have missed him! I’ve never met a jackdaw in person but they sound a little like crows. I’ve never met a crow in person, either, but I would love to have one as a pet. From the photo — it’s surprising that the little border terrier settled in with Jackie. You know those terriers! Out with the “varmints.” (I can say that because I have a terrier (Airedale) and know the terrier personalities.) Great photo, great story.

  12. Marilyn says:

    I loved this story and photo – thanks so much for sharing it with us.

  13. Jo says:

    Crows (and their associated families) are known here as opportunists (generally thieves) but they are also brilliant mimics (the car alarm, the phone ringing) and so must be quite bright. I suspect the Border Terrier realised he was a brain cell or two short of Jackie and backed down :-)

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