Monday, 19 May 2008
It was a tranquil, golden morning on the drive to work that day. Smiling at the morning show radio DJs' banter and thinking of nothing in particular, I pulled into Albany Village. The autumn leaves swirled across the car park as the early morning sunlight reflected off the children's swings in the park... Why is it so quiet?
I rounded the back of the back of the North Shore Library Building as I heard the gunshot. Greeting me in this usually benign "Village" car park was the sight of a police car and five men dressed in black marauding around the car park toting gleaming black rifles. Snatches of "Elephant" dashed through my mind's eye as my pre-caffeinated logic tried to figure out what on earth was happening. I only wish I hadn't. I only wish I had not been so brutally let into the reality of that morning.
It was 8.40am and the North Shore Council, in it's infinite wisdom, had thought that now would be an excellent time to strut around a public place where people were arriving for work, walking their dogs and arriving for their classes, shooting point blank the roosters and chickens of Albany Village. I got out of my car in a state of shock only to turn and see not four metres from where I parked, a trigger happy council worker bending to pick up his spoils, a rooster I had once nicknamed Elvis for his shaggy legs that looked like flared trousers. He flung this poor, helpless and now definitively dead creature in the back of the unmarked ute and went back to his morning sport.
These chickens have been an integral part of the identity and charm of the Albany Village for over thirty years. They are part the last bastion of rural tranquility in the increasingly urbanised Albany area but appear to be falling victim to a bun fight between the North Shore Council, Albany Village Business Association and the SPCA. But is the solution a dawn execution of these poor birds? It was a harrowing and pitiful sight, especially for those like myself who are hopeless sentimentalists and get very attached to living things in my environment. I say either leave the chickens be or for goodness sake come up with a better solution.
See above for a video of the events.