Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Bird in the what??

Yesterday morning I left Nate inside with Hattie, who was finishing her breakfast, while I went outside to put Charlotte on the schoolbus.

When I came back in, Nate said, "Mom, guess what? There's a bird in the house!"

Thinking he was playing a game, I didn't believe him, but then he pointed into the living room, where a BIRD was indeed flying around the living room and sitting on the back of my couch.


That's right, there was a BIRD. IN MY HOUSE.

Now, I know lots of people like birds. I like birds okay. But I'm not what you might call a bird lover. I like them all right, when they're in their proper places, like the tops of trees. I like to hear them sing in the morning. And I like stylistic pictures of them. As decoration.

I don't really like to SEE them. Especially IN MY HOUSE.

I have always thought birds were kind of yucky up close. Besides being disease carriers (I'm not even talking about bird flu), they have beady little eyes, sharp little beaks and sharp little feet. And they are indiscriminate about where they relieve themselves. Too frequently the only birds I see up close are dead ones. NO THANK YOU.

Don't even get me started on baby birds. I know they're necessary, yak, yak, yak, but I just think they're gross. Although I may have been traumatized for life a decade or so ago when I stepped on one that had fallen out of its nest. The Ick Factor of that one continues to haunt me.

Anyway, we get along very well when they keep to their area (the sky and treetops outside) and when I stay in mine (like my HOUSE, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD).

Plus I had bread and an open jar of peanut butter out on the counter. The house was in its usual state of before-school disaster. A bird flying frantically around, terrified, was the last thing I needed.

Oh yes, and this was Crazy Wednesday, when I have to get everyone out of the house as fast as humanly possible so I can go to work. A bird was NOT what I ordered this morning, of all mornings.

The bird flew around, bouncing off windows. I had horrible visions of it stunning itself and falling senseless on our carpet so our 80-lb dog could snatch it up. Or maybe it would hide itself away somewhere, where we wouldn't find it until it was way too late, if we were lucky enough to find it at all before the cat did.

So I opened the door to the patio as wide as I could, told Nate to be sure not to get between the bird and the door, and asked Nate to chase it towards the door I was holding open. After a few more futile efforts to bash itself against the closed windows, and after hanging out for a while on the cord holding up our light fixture over the kitchen table where Hattie continued to polish off her breakfast (again, YUCK!), it finally guessed right and flew out the open door.

The entire episode took maybe five minutes. It really could have been much worse, considering the alternative.

We think maybe it got into the garage yesterday when the door was malfunctioning and stayed up for several hours. And then maybe we managed to close the garage door with the bird still inside, and when we opened the door into the house, it flew in. But I didn't see it fly in. And you would think you would notice something like that. Our ceilings are only 8 feet high, after all.

WAY too much excitement for 7:45 a.m.

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