Communion Of Dreams


Quoth the Grackle, “Nevermore.”*
January 8, 2010, 9:55 am
Filed under: Humor

You may have heard something about the nasty cold snap that we’ve been experiencing here in the Midwest. Oh, yeah, it has gotten some attention for making it a bit chilly as far south as Florida, but hereabouts temps have been hovering around zero, with wind chills down into the actually dangerous zone.

Well, yesterday was no exception. We’d gotten about 6″ of fresh snow the night before, and winds had picked up to about 20mph, gusts to almost twice that. Not fit for man nor beast. Nor, I now know, birds.

We’ve got several bird feeders outside our kitchen, in an area adjacent to the carport. Particularly when it is this nasty, I make sure to keep them filled, and all day whenever I passed through the kitchen I could see birds clustering around, all floofy and puffed up, trying to stay in the lee of the wind and eat as much as possible.

So, about sunset I stopped working in my bindery and started to help prep dinner, before I had to go off to a stupid meeting. Part of that entailed collecting the various rinsed-out cans and whatnot and putting them in the recycling bag outside the door to the carport. Gathering up an armful, I moved with deliberation to the back door, opened it, and stepped out into the bloody damned cold.

And behind me, something exploded.

Well, “exploded” in a figurative sense. What happened was there was a Grackle hiding out in the corner there, out of the wind, under one of the shelves that has potting soil and whatnot on it. And I scared the crap out of it. But I was also standing there, screen door blocking the way out from under the carport, me blocking the other way. But there was this nice escape route leading into the house. So, it went inside.

Eleanor, our old-lady cat (she’s 16), had been following me around, wanting some food. And she thought that I had just delivered dinner on the wing, leapt up to catch the Grackle as it came inside.

This did not amuse the Grackle any. It kept going.

My wife, Martha, who was standing in the kitchen, ducked as it flew past her and headed upstairs. By this point I was back inside. My wife looked at me. “What the hell was that??”

The cat mewed. Our dog, Alwyn, came trotting into the kitchen to see what all the excitement was about. He’s the kind of dog that can’t stand to be left out of fun.

Just then the Grackle came back down the stairs, alighted on top of the microwave. Martha again looks at me, like this was some sort of weird joke. I, of course, start laughing my ass off.

Well, Martha started closing doors in the kitchen (there are four, leading off into other parts of the house), to limit the bird’s escape options. Eleanor scrambled around our feet, watching the bird. Alwyn took off, convinced that we were all nuts. I grabbed a towel from the top of the dryer, and after a couple of false starts caught the bird (I wanted to do so gently, not hurt it).

I took the Grackle back to the carport, and released it. With a loud caw! it took off like a bat outta hell. Inside, Eleanor paced around, eyes sharp, wondering where her treat went. Alwyn hid in the front room, certain that somehow he’d be blamed for everything.

We got dinner made, ate. I went off to my meeting, still chuckling.

Jim Downey

*With apologies to Edgar.


1 Comment so far
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Poor Alwyn! Maybe he was just sulking because you brought in a bird for the cats, but no squirrel for him.

Comment by ML




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