Sunday, 1 May 2011

Escape for Colditz

Great radio starts with great stories.  We all have memories and experiences that can be used to make great radio, they can be personal rather than private* glimpses that an audience can empathise with.
Here is a true story from my childhood:

It was a warm spring day and I was out playing in the garden when something caught my eye, it was a small bird hopping about amongst my dads rose bushes.  As I approached it made no attempt to fly away, when I was closer I could see that the poor little bird was bedraggled - it was clear that a cat or something similar had mauled it.

I decided to rescue this poor baby blackbird and borrowed our next door neighbours old budgie cage and carefully cupped my hand round the little bird and put it in the cage.  But what to feed it?  Well when I looked up in the encyclopaedia I was horrified to discover that it preferred to eat live grubs and the like. We decided to call the bird Colditz, the show about the prison was on TV at the time and my mum said that he will make a bid for freedom at the earliest opportunity.

So each day we would forage around the garden to find live bugs for 'Colditz' to eat, I, using a pair of tweezers fed him wriggling grubs and within a few days he was fluttering around the cage.

I decided to let him out into the front room and he flew around the room rather awkwardly finally landing on top of my head - he then let me put him back in the cage.  He seemed to feel safe when he was perched on my head and a few more days later and he was well enough to be set free.

The whole family gathered in the garden and I opened the budgie cage door and Colditz hopped out, took a look around and then flew off into the distance and that, we thought would be the last we would see of him.  But a minute later he swooped down from nowhere and promptly landed on my head, pecked at my hair and then finally took off leaving us forever.

*Valerie Gellerism.

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