On a quiet, normal day, Diesel sits in the living room playing a game with Choo-choo before leaving for work. I go out to the mudroom to start a load of dirty clothes in the washing machine. I open the dryer and washer doors. Out of the corner of my eye, I see something small and brown. I think it’s a chipmunk or squirrel that got into the house and figure I will tell Diesel about it when I take the clean clothes into the living room.
Then it moves. Not only does it move, but it moves at me!
It is not a squirrel or a chipmunk but a bird.
A flying, swooping bird trapped in my mudroom. I, of course, shriek.
Now, I should let you know I have been told many times by several different people that I have the perfect horror movie scream. Diesel even calls it “blood-curdling.” I have no joke given him near heart attacks due to spiders and mice. (Apparently, a house more than a century old seems to be a haven for unwanted “guests,” aka critters.)
I think I should also tell you that I like birds as long as they are not flying at or near me. When I was little, one of our pet parakeets got free from its cage and flew like crazy around my sister’s and my bedroom. It took my mom hours to entice the bird back into its home.
Then there’s the time I saw Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” at too young of an age. I nearly had a nervous breakdown then next morning when I heard birds chirping next to my window.
So here I am, trapped in the same room as a wild bird. My only thought is to get out and close the door behind me. “Shut the door!” my brain yells over and over.
In a panic, I slam the dryer door closed then realize I meant to do that to the mudroom door. I make a run for it (all two feet to the entrance), but I’m too late. The feathered creature, still flying around in its own panic, follows me into the kitchen. I run into the living room, shoes still on, screaming about the bird and how it’s in the house. Somehow, I make just enough sense that my husband seems to understand.
Diesel steps into the kitchen, closing the door between the two rooms to contain the bird’s flight. I sit on the sofa, trying to calm my breath. Choo-choo asks if I am all right and seems a bit frightened himself. I reassure him as we hear Diesel talking to the sparrow in the kitchen. There is even a “Don’t make me chase you out of hear” threat included.
After some loud noises and a few exclamations from my spouse, he returns to the living room to assure us the sparrow has returned outside. Then he laughs and uses the “blood-curdling scream” phrase again.
Diesel takes a few steps then turns to me. “So that’s why you didn’t go into the aviary with us.”
I can’t help but admit the truth.
All that previous bird uneasiness is precisely the reason I did not enter the aviary section at our local zoo. My husband and son had no problem walking around as all the gorgeous parakeets flew freely. I, meanwhile, couldn’t face my fears. The last thing I wanted was to be a grown woman screaming and running away, scared of tiny little rainbow-colored birds.
That darn sparrow just had to sneak into my house, didn’t it? *Sigh.*