Magpie attack.
Magpie attack. Contributed

Man vs Magpie: A Roma survival story

HAVE you ever been attacked by a magpie?

The Western Star editor Tom Gillespie has, and he even lived to tell the tale.

This is his story:

It is a moment that has burrowed into my subconsciousness. A flash of unbearable terror.

I was walking up my humble driveway one afternoon last year, to place my bin on the curb, hoping that this week they would actually empty it.

As I turned away in the casual way most Australians do, I felt the bristle of movement above my head. At first I couldn't quite grasp what it was - but then I saw it.

Shrieking down from the telegraph pole, I saw the face that nightmares are made of.

This evil creature, with feathers the colour of tar and eyes like the devil, swooped down like a monster from the sky.

I knew this foul beast would not stop as it kept attacking me with its beak, which at this stage I'd established was 12 inches long and as sharp as a razor.

It didn't matter how old I was, how strong I was or the fact that this really was a tiny bird just trying to defend its nest. At this moment, the world was nothing but pure white lightning.

I ran up the driveway, screaming like the little girl I was, begging this menace of the sky to relent in its overwhelming attack. I didn't stop scrambling up my property until I'd reached the house, and it took me 45 minutes before I stopped screaming, mainly because my partner was asking me "Why are you screaming so much?"

To this day, whenever I go to take my rubbish bin out, I always carry a steel grate to hold over my head, lest the Being of 1000 Terrors attempts once more to rid me of this life.

Long story short: I got attacked by a magpie and I'm scared of them now.

Do you have a hilarious magpie story? Let us know by emailing

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