The Mexican Grackle

The Mexican Grackle

The sunrise this morning is rising over the other side of the complex. The cleaners trudging down the corridor and gossiping about the guests is our 7 am wake-up call. I wake up to the coldness of the air conditioning – a westerners dream. The windows are unmasked as I step out onto the balcony into the sauna-like heat. The pool boy begins his daily ritual of cleaning up after the thousands of tourists that descend to Mexico each year. Following my indulgence with the free bathroom cosmetics, I skip down the maze-like corridors to arrive at breakfast. An oversized man’s dream of unlimited dining cuisine. I sparkle my gold band to the waiter and I’m hurried to the outside table, beneath the propeller-like fans that mask the architectural beauty. I pass the rows of countless delicacies, of spicy quesadillas, full English breakfasts and a colourful array of fruit. The smell of fresh bread baking with a mix of sun-creamed visitors fills my nostrils. I settle for granola and yoghurt, as I drew tired of being fattened up like a goose at Christmas. I sip my champagne and the bubbles tingle against my chapped lips, the popping of a cork and the squawk of birds capture my attention. Like a ghetto gang from the Bronx of New York, these birds huddle together discussing tactics.


I am suspicious of these urbanised Mexican Grackle birds, as they taunt the waiters with their skilled pocketing techniques. As the waiters, backs are turned the bravest grackle subtly swoops in and fishes out an unidentified object from the bin. He catches the waiter’s attention who claps in an attempt to scare off these jester-like scavengers. They regroup again, each standing on the backrest of a chair. They jump forward to the next chair; each one is edging closer and closer to an abandoned table aligned with leftovers. The almost blackness of their tails are similar to the Mexican night sky, tainted by light pollution leaving an eerie purple- blue tinge. I’m concerned about leaving my food unattended, so I watch as one pinches a packet of butter and fly’s off showing off to his male rivals. I observe silently as the waiter claps again, and the birds fly away making various noises under their breath. With a large repertoire of vocalisations, these birds otherwise known as ‘Zanate’ are perceived as pests to the Mexican community. Mexican legend believes that these birds were first created with no voice; using their smart and cunning personality they stole their distinct songs from the wise and knowing sea turtle. The birds had taken the seven passions of life; Love, Hate, Anger, Sadness, Courage, Fear and Joy. Each of his songs represents a different passion. I finish up the taste of wild berries and crunchy granola and head to the pool for a routine swim. I pass a vigilant vocal Grackle as I walk across the burnt orange tiles, I’m now somewhat curious as to which passion he’s squawking about.  


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