The Death of a Friend - A tribute to Mealworm Maurice

Recently i lost a dear friend, someone who always made my day, and lifted my spirits when the black dog hit, and y'know what? People don't care about him, he never had a funeral, cause they couldn't find his body, and when I tell people I miss him, they say "buck your ideas up". The thing is he was special to me and he's gone. his name? Maurice, or as he was also known 'The Major' or to give him his full name 'Major 'mad eye' Maurice mealworm' - a strange name you think? for a blackbird it's not.

Oh yes didn't I say Maurice was a blackbird? I knew him for about four years, when he was a chick staking out his territory, when he brought the lady 'Flo to be his mate and then the chicks (He raised five broods - and his son Maurice Minor, has taken over the estate).and the badgering for mealworms - oh he knew where his bread was buttered! I never minded that though, he was always waiting for me when I went to the studio, sitting outside on the patio furniture singing to himself, or if I was there first he would arrive with 'a whoosh and a blackness' that his offspring could never achieve. or peck on the glass door if it was closed.

He got to a good size and I knew this year would probably be his last, he was old and had got a leg injury from defending his territory from a gang of Starlings, and he was slow.

However he didn't deserve his fate, to be killed for sport by a domestic cat, a cat that didn't need the food and just took Maurice to play with and abandon his body somewhere i couldn't find it.

In the UK alone cats kill approx. 55,000,000 songbirds a year, they are a dwindling resource, with climate change, reduction of woodland and open fields, the lat thing they need is to be needlessly slaughter by an animal that doesn't need or won't the food, so, as a plea to cat owners, do the right thing at least put a collar and a bell on your pet, so Maurice hasn't died in vain.