Writers Write

Fly Away Home

I was working at my dining room table when another bird hit the window. I had a similar experience a while ago. This time, the bird was red, a cardinal. I have a special relationship with red birds. When my mother was dying, they landed by the dozens in her yard, eating from her bird feeder. I called them her pets.

Bacon and I have always considered cardinals our good luck charm. Our children can recognize the trill of a male calling his mate. Last year, a pair nested in our rose arbor. So . . . we’re attached.

The bird was snacking on the red berries that grow next to the house when he slammed against the glass. Our neighbor has a cat, Lucifer. The big tabby hangs out in our yard so, I couldn’t leave the little guy there. He didn’t look hurt, but he was too stunned to move.

I scooped him up with a box lid. He grabbed the edge with his feet. I’ve never been so close before. He was too stressed to be scared. I put the lid in the fork of a live oak tree. Since he was perched on the top edge, the cat would have to knock the lid down to get him.

The bird sat there for more than an hour while I half-held my breath waiting for him to fly away.

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