Archie's Nautical Tale Reminded Me
Of the story of the ship's captain who found he was having difficulty with his sattelite navigation array. It seems the guano from seabirds was clogging up the sensitive antennae.
So the captain, resourceful fellow that he was, hired a young Filipino lad to sit atop the wheelhouse and chuck rocks to frighten away the birds. And all was well for a while.
But gradually the boy grew tired of the monotony of his job, his stone-throwing became listless. Until one day he noticed that one particular bird, an arctic tern, seemed to display more interest in him than the usual crowd.
The boy began sneaking the crusts of his lunchtime sandwiches to his post and feeding them to the bird, which he named "Charlie." He discovered a new vigour in his work, and the captain was well pleased.
Things worked out well for Charlie too, he had his choice of preferred perches, and the best part of the young crewman's lunchtime sangies.
Alas, it could not last. Eventually, Charlie's own guano began fouling the navigation antennae, and the Filipino was told that he must be more dutiful in the performance of his job.
"From now on, you chuck rocks at every feathered creature that alights anywhere near the navigation array," rumbled the captain, "No exceptions--you get that?"
"But sir ..." protested the younger man "... even Charlie?"
"Even Charlie, lad," replied his boss gently, "For the safety of the ship, we must leave no tern unstoned."
Update: Sorry, Archie, I neglected to close the tag. Fixed now