George (Digital Audio, MP3)


Then, just in time, before I swung the spade again, I saw, right by the blade and camouflaged by the leaves on the ground, a magpie chick. It squatted belligerently, peering up at me with miniature magpie fury. George.

When Frieda Hughes moved to the depths of the Welsh countryside, she was expecting to take on a few projects: planting a garden, painting and writing her poetry column for the Times. But instead, she found herself rescuing a baby magpie, the sole survivor of a nest destroyed in a storm – and embarking on an obsession that would change the course of her life.

As the magpie, George, grows from a shrieking scrap of feathers and bones into an intelligent, unruly companion, Frieda finds herself captivated – and apprehensive of what will happen when the time comes to finally set him free.

SKU: 9781800816169


EXTRACT: 'The magpie chick didn't fight or struggle, on the contrary, it put up with my ministrations with the air of a creature that no longer cares. I dried it off, and got it to eat a small worm, which I dangled into its open upturned beak and dropped to the back of its throat, so it swallowed. Then I wrapped it up warmly in a t-shirt and put it in a tiny cardboard box. I left it to recover and hoped it might, although given its condition I had my doubts. If it lived, I'd call it George.