It’s about this time of year that we start to poll up in this little island that you like to call home, and over the last few decades our visits up here have not always gone as planned – things have been getting out of order.
Listen hard now – we were here first.
We’d been hanging out here for centuries before your raggedy-arsed little ship trundled over the horizon and a few sorry Vikings stumbled ashore. They were lost, by the way, and hopeless at fire-lighting, but that’s a different matter. Now where was I?
Oh yes, So here we were at the end of our usual trip from down south, chilling out with the relatives, getting a bit of pre-coital preening going, and this wooden thing with a woolen sail and a few bewildered sailors spluttering some unintelligible language, land right in the middle of our nesting ground.
What you got to understand is that these Vikings discovered nothing. They spent most of their time lost, wandering around the globe bumping into places. Speaking as a bird, I feel qualified to tell you that we don´t have a high regard for folks who rely on ravens for navigation. If it’s direction you´ve a mind for, then mark my words: A dove´s the only option. Think about it. Noah used a dove – he got the promised land. Use a raven, you get Iceland.
So, anyway, that’s how it all started. At first it really wasn’t a problem. There were millions of us all over the place and a few hundred or so of you. You weren’t going to make any difference. Besides, we don’t actually like it that much here. You see, we like the sun and when I say like, I really mean LIKE. Put it another way. We don’t do dark. Dark is bad. Dark sucks.
No, we are the ultimate sun hounds. We follow it when it comes up here in May or June and then leave as the night starts again in August. We head off down to the equator, hang out in the Sahara for a week or so while we rest up, and then we flit on down to Antarctica, where we can check in for months of non-stop Big Orange – Old Helios himself – for the winter.
We feed up and wait until we feel encouraging squirmings in the regeneration department, in no time at all the primeval urge kicks in and, once again, we pack up and head north.
So what’s my gripe? Well, is it too much to ask to be left alone when we get here? Look, the sun aside, we’re up here to get intimate, to shake tail feathers and generally strut our stuff. And the place we´ve been coming all these years to do it is out there, on the point at Seltjarnanes. You put a light house out there, we could cope with that, but whose idea was it to add bunkers and a club house?
Put it another way. How would you feel if you’d travelled 6,000 miles from the other end of the earth, risking wing and limb over land and sea, hell-bent on procreation, only to find that some idiot’s built a golf course in your boudoir? Think of it, a putting green on your pleasure table, a ‘nineteenth hole’ in the kid’s nursery – NO WAY man!
What we need is a little respect around here. I mean, who else travels this far to come here, geese? Nope. Ducks? – Are you kidding me? Skuas? They don’t even make it half way.
When it comes to migration we are IT, man. We were the ones who put tourism on the map. Not some short hop to the Canary Islands that you guys seem so obsessed with. What is it about that place anyway? What´s wrong with your own volcanic rock-heap; haven’t you had enough of black beaches and moss to last you a life time?
And what´s the problem you guys have got with names? We´re called Sterna Paradisea. Not Tern. not Kria, not Arctic Tern. Sterna Paradisea. And what´s our idea of paradise? A place with no golfers. There are no golfers in the Antarctic, no golfers in the Sahara. And the Vikings didn´t golf. What have you people come to?
You see what we want is… R.E.S.P.E.C.T. – you know the song.
The Vikings we could handle, your ancestors we could cope with, those guys with the guns around the time you got Independence we could tolerate – we thought they were only temporary anyway. But golfers? Now you’ve crossed the line…we won’t put up with it. It’s war.
So if you want some fun, finish your coffee, and amble down to the point at Seltjarnanes. There’s one of them golf courses there. Sure nuff, they’ll be there waving their sticks, wriggling their fat arses and chasing that white ball around the place. (Now what’s all that about? They got nothing better to do? “A good walk spoiled” just about sums it up. That Kipling, he knew what golfing was about. ) But don’t get me started on that one.
We’ll be there and so will the golfers. Beak to butt. No contest!
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