If I am engrossed in reading something (perhaps The Bulletin?) he will let me know he is there. Oh yes! He is impatient for me to notice him, for he wants to be fed. Not later, but now. This instant.

I know he is not popular with bird lovers. They say he frightens off the small native birds like Blue Wrens (which I love) and others. But this Mickey seems harmless to me, with his jaunty, cheerful manner.

So I say, ‘Oh! It’s you again...’ as I put down my cup, survey my breakfast tray and decide on the morsel that I shall give him buttered toast that I know he loves. I break off a tiny portion and place it on the table a few inches from my tray. He flutters from the verandah balustrade to the back of a nearby chair and warily checks the field, looking this way and that, listening, checking again before he darts to the table, picks up the crumb of toast and flies off.

He is back in no time, giving a bit of a chirrup from his position on the chair, and this time confidently alights near the fragments of toast, near me, and one after the other, devours each piece, throwing his head back heartily as he swallows his meal. This bird knows I am his friend.