A Winter for the Birds

 48 hours ago it was 60 degrees and sunny. Overnight the temperature dropped to 30 degrees. The following day it snowed for 8 hours. Today we are under another 6 inches of a torture device that keeps more people out of work than our current economy.

As I brought my little ones to the window to let them discover snow I was greeted by an onslaught of birds. These, my friends, were Angry Birds.  A few of them looked through the window and seemed to start begging, “I will find mice and help you clean your house while you sing a Disney princess song if you will let us in!”

Two camped out on a tree and proceeded to have an exchange that looked strikingly like an argument. Of the three people in my home, I am the only one who can have a coherent conversation at this time. The idea of making up a bird-brained conversation sounded fun. Go ahead and judge me. I deserve it.

One perched and remained still while the other flew about frantically, as if to find a warmer spot on the tree by flapping in place to keep blood circulating. Clearly, this was the wife. IMG_7603

“Would you HOLD STILL Mildred? You’re shaking the tree. “

“It keeps me warm, Harold! Good LORD, it is cold. Does this feel like flying South, Harold? Why didn’t you get better directions? This is NORTH Carolina!”

“At least we are south of Virginia! Everyone knows THAT is the state that can’t decide if it is northern or southern. YOU wanted to stop and pee where it was 60 and sunny on Monday, Mildred.”

“Oh, hush up, Harold. You were the one who wanted an easy day of travel….AFTER you had a leisurely breakfast!” “Did you want the worm or not, Mildred? The noon bird starves.” “Well, we’re starving now, Harold. My natural nuts and seeds diet has been working for me. You can eat worms. “


About this time a few other birds discovered that water was in the gutter. One by one a few flew over and began to perch on the house. Soon the only bird left defending the tree was Harold.

The next exchange was LOUD chirping. I mean, make a domestic disturbance call kind of ruckus.

Mildred called back over to him, “Do you want something, Harold? Or are you going to sit there freezing and starving?”  “Mental toughness, Mildred. I am a fighter!”

“You know who else is fighting, Harold? My parents…over why they made up a guest nest for us where it is 60 and sunny 4 states SOUTH! For the love of all things, 6 hours south would get us to Atlanta. There isn’t any snow there at all!”

“There doesn’t need to be any! The last 2 inches stopped the whole interstate! The only birds around there are being flipped in traffic!”

“We’re not driving! We’re flying! “

“At this rate, flying is slower than driving anyway!”

“Well, fine Harold. Go ahead and freeze to death. Arguing isn’t going to help and I’m out of ideas.” 

Harold cocked his birdy head to the side.

We could nestle together for warmth, Mildred.”

Mildred’s whole body weight shifted up and down in a dramatic sigh.

“Passing gas does NOT count as providing warmth, Harold.”

“Beggars can’t be choosers, Mildred. I’m perfectly content.”

“You’ve CLEARED the TREE Harold!”IMG_7598

(And he had!)

“A bird does what he has to do be king of the tree. You’ll come back.”

At this point Mildred flew to the backyard. She’s been loudly chirping and telling the girls about it. She is still sitting on a branch outside my dining room window where the leaves can shield her from the wind. Bless her birdy heart.


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