Birdbrains – A Fugue In Three Parts

Birdbrain 1:  Got home from work yesterday afternoon a little early to begin preparations to attend an office-related awards banquet.  Mr. Pickles the Wonder Dog was happy to see me – as always –  and I’d noticed that I’d left the door to my deck open.  i remembered opening it at lunchtime, and must have forgotten to close it before fluttering back to the office.  No harm – doggie was fine, hadn’t leaped 10 feet to his death.  Other than the possibility that he’d been barking the afternoon away and annoying the neighbors… but i am convinced that my nearest neighbor is deaf* so even this was no trouble.  Still, not a good plan to leave the back door open when I’m gone – if for no other reason, every bug on the planet will invade my bedroom, hide in my underwear drawer until dark, and then feast on my flesh and blood once I go to bed.

Birdbrain 2: I set about getting ready for the dinner.  Stripping down to my undies, i started piling my hair up on my head for the semi-formal dinner event.  Although i couldn’t quite identify the sound, i kept hearing something that sounded like a wood-chipper, or generator, outside**.  Went to the front of the condo to look out the window, but couldn’t pinpoint the noise.  Strange.  Walking back to my bathroom, i successfully geolocated the sound – looking up to find a hummingbird beating itself to death against one of my skylights.  About 20 feet over my head.  This is a deep well skylight – and standing there in my underwear, I was at a complete loss as to how to get a small bird out of my house when it’s stuck in a skylight. 

It had to be tired – hummingbirds have to eat constantly to sustain energy to flap their wings like, well, hummingbirds.  Having no idea how long it had been there, I was concerned that the damn thing would just fall to the carpet.  The white carpet.  And then be eaten, shredded and splattered everywhere in a mass of feathers, bone and blood by my dog.  Somehow, i had to rescue the white carpet bird before leaving for the dinner event…  Grabbing a washcloth, I balled it up, and threw it toward the bird – hoping to drive it 5 feet downward, out of the skylight well, and back toward freedom…  I managed to hit it a few times, but this only served to freak it out – making it more frantic.

“Shit.  Now what?”  Went back to the bathroom, and began working the face paint, while continuing to munch over options.  Cripes!  How do you get a hummingbird out of your house?  Who do you call?  How big of a mess would Mr. P make of a tired hummingbird?  Will eating a bird make him sick?  Give him the shits?  What do you use to get bird blood out of a white carpet?  Dog poo containing bird blood?

Birdbrain 3:  Just then, i hear a ‘thud’ behind me.  The bird had apparently dropped from the well, followed me toward the bathroom, and smacked into a closet door directly behind me.  About 3 feet in front of my lounging dog, who barely moved… He looked up, groaned a groan of tired annoyance, rearranged his dulaps***, and went back to his nap.  The bird looked pretty seriously dead.  Grabbing a hand towel, i covered the bird – and felt him still moving.  i also discovered that hummingbirds have a nice little chirp – so he wasn’t quite dead yet.  Racing for the deck****, i opened the towel figuring I’d set him on the deck, allowing recovery without the “canine assist”.  The damn thing looked at me – i swear he sighed – and then took off.  Walking back to the bathroom, i finished getting ready – and wondered what the hell kind of watchdog i’ve got.  He’ll bark randomly in the middle of the night when receiving a signal from the dog planet, and yet a bird can fly past his nose inside the house and he barely moves.  

Which is why i continue to sleep next to a 24″ blade, and have a wooden baseball bat tucked securely under my bed….


* No complaints yet about noise, and there have been some seriously noisy things going on at my place.  All related to “moving in”, of course…

** Not uncommon at the moment – still lots of folks with no power.  And i ain’t just talking about the Democrats at the moment…

*** A “dulap” – at least as i recall – is what you call those hanging lip thingies on a dog snout that they are so fond of rearranging.  For hours.  All night long when you are trying to get to sleep.  A quick bit of net research led me to an alternate definition – which makes the story funnier…

**** Yes.  Still in my underwear, but sporting a nice “up” do with the hair…

16 thoughts on “Birdbrains – A Fugue In Three Parts

  1. You spelled it wrong, it’s dewlap. But the other definition is funnier. We had a hummingbird caught in the peak of our porch roof one time in Colorado. I got a broom, and kind of guided him so he had to leave the upper reaches of the porch. Like you, I was afraid he was going to die. And that dog I had then wouldn’t have just let it sit.

  2. They say the mind is the second thing to go…

    Good story about the bird. Good thing Mr. P ain’t a cat. I had a storm door/screen door on the front door and for various reasons there was a gap at the bottom. One day a wren got in through that gap, I guess headed toward the back door (you can see one from the other – as the Asians say, “Money in, money out” – Asians wouldn’t buy a house like this). Anyway, Tigger the cat was snoozing in the front room and when that bird flew through he was awake, up and like a flash had that bird down by the time it hit the back porch. Bird didn’t survive…

  3. paisley – i think it depends on the dog. our other dog (the one my ex got in the divorce) would have never let it slip by! in fact, she’d have been standing under that skylight, barking madly until the tresspasser was removed!

    silverstar – Ah-HA! Mystery solved! I knew that’s what they are called – i just can’t spell! i was trying to figure out what i had that was long enough to reach that high – i’ve got recessed lighting on the ceiling, but don’t have one of those ‘prongy light bulb changer thingies’ (yes, that’s the technical term). that might have helped…

    rob – “They say the mind is the second thing to go…” Well, i hope mine’s somewhere nice, on a beach maybe, drinking umbrella frou-frou drinks and enjoying some downtime… and yes, cats are faster and more predatory! dogs are definitely more domesticated!

    nm – it’s a machete. small, but sharp. a gift from my darling children for mother’s day. sweet, huh?

  4. Good that you saved the bird. In my old middle school classroom, there were no screens and wildlife got in from time to time. Certainly livened things up. We had a squirrel that actually went from room to room in expectation of being fed.

  5. ‘if for no other reason, every bug on the planet will invade my bedroom, hide in my underwear drawer until dark, and then feast on my flesh and blood once I go to bed.’

    I’m glad I’m not the only one that has this theory.

  6. annie – Squirrel in Residence? That would have definitely livened things up! Bet the students loved it…

    alex – i sleep soundly, and there could be bats sucking the blood from me and i’d probably sleep through it… i have woken up covered in mosquito bites if i sleep with an open window… and never notice during the night!

    gnu – glasses would be easier, and cheaper, than a brain transplant. i’m thinking some ‘nerd’ glasses would make him look just about right…

    nm – it was sweet. mother’s day present – a blade (from The Boy) wrapped inside a lovely small purse (from The Girl). they bring me joy. and sharp objects…

  7. Whahahahahahaha. I was reading this out loud to LB, as we rolled about on a super large king sized luxury bed (long story, awesome day)…I nearly had sparkling water coming out my nose!

  8. dolce – ummm…. technically does that count as a threesome? not sure i want to count it if i was only involved as comic relief… and oh, yeah, kiddo. we want stories! pictures of you shooting sparkle-loogies out your nose would be a bonus…

  9. Shoot the fucker. They were dragons once. So go on be a dragon slayer. Alternatively dial the Hummingbird police. I agree with your dog. To many feathers for a good snack.

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