like the Italian movie stars of the rainforest,
being small and sleek and subtly beautiful.
Pair-bonded megapods**, they work hard all day eating,
building massive birthing barrows,
and scratching up the forest floor with a vigor
all out of proportion to their unassuming appearance.
But by night, oh by night, they are noisy neighbours,
unabashedly, torridly, passionately, loquacious.
Waking to the nearby cries of the night chickens*
is like watching a sexy Italian film with the subtitles turned off,
the volume up high, and your eyes closed.
Who knows what the orange-footed scrub fowl are saying to,
and hearing from, each other in their conversations after dark,
but I imagine Sophia Loren clasping a dark-haired lover
to her heaving bosom as they verbosely make love
with indistinct murmurings,
throaty chuckles, gurgles of delight,
shuddering moans and drawn-out ecstatic shrieks.
Other people complain about the long, loud night calls
of the orange-footed scrub fowl.
I hear night chicken love chat as a romantic embrace spooning me to sleep.
Call me kinky. Call me a salacious eavesdropper.
But listening to the birds in bed turns me on.
* Before I knew the name of the bird making these night noises I called it the 'night chicken'
**Having big feet