The bread altar

If you have read of a few of “The Crazies” posts, you will know that my dad is quite the character. Along with his funny sayings, and quirky behaviour, my dad also has a great love of animals – sometimes annoyingly so. With that love came the bread altar.

Those pesky birds

 A year or so ago my mom complained that the birds kept eating the dog pellets (which was kept outside for the dogs). I recommended that we keep the dog bowls inside the garage, but no, that was too convenient. It was then that my dad suggested that what these pesky birds needed was a distraction from the ‘tasty’ dog pellets.

He decided that we had to give the birds bread on the opposite side of the house (from the dog bowls). In this way, they would rather eat the bread and not the dog pellets.

At the top of the post is the infamous bread altar. Disclaimer: we don’t have it anymore – my dad somehow came to his senses a few months ago.

It looks like we worship birds

As you can see in the photo there was a chair on top of the table to make sure the bread is out of reach of our always hungry Labrador. It was not enough that we were giving bread to the birds, the bread had to be elevated … on this structure that looked suspiciously like an altar.

My brother had asked my dad whether we couldn’t just put the bread in the tree that is literally just a few paces away from the altar. Dad said: “No, how would that look?” Yeah, those were his exact words.

I’ll try to be fair and say that the bread altar worked. No, I’m lying, it actually just worsened our bird problem. The birds knew that my dad gave them bread every afternoon and they told some friends. I mean, why wouldn’t they want to come to our yard? We’re treating them like gods.

The bread altar

An animal lover since childhood

 Where did my dad’s love of animals come from? He grew up on a farm in the middle of the Kalahari here in South Africa. As a child, he had many pets, a hawk for one; which I think is pretty badass. They also had horses, foxes, a lot of dogs, cats, goats, a peacock, etc. If the species lives in South Africa, my dad’s family probably had it as a pet at one stage or another.

He also took this love of animals into his adult life. At least once a year he brings some kind of a small, wild animal home. There was a turtle (before my time, luckily), many doves, a hedgehog, and a woodpecker, to name a few. When I ask him why he does this he says: “I wanted you to see what they look like up close”. I am an animal lover myself, but I prefer the furry ones.

Counting sheep

When I was little, I had a dream that we were keeping a bunch of sheep in our backyard. I talked about it one day and my oldest brother was like, “Nope, that really happened.”

I asked my dad (of course I assumed he was the culprit) why we had sheep running around when I was a little girl. Apparently our one neighbour kept sheep in their backyard. At this point I thought it better not to ask too many questions – questions such as “How the hell do you keep sheep on your property when you live in the suburbs?!”

My dad then told our neighbour he could keep the sheep in our yard for a couple of days. Apparently, the grass at that stage was very long. I’m guessing my dad was too lazy to mow the lawn, so he made a plan.

I feel like I’m going to retell this whole tale to a shrink one day.



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