Practical Theory - The Origin
The Scholars in CyberEnglish
ToDaY's MeNu - Ted

Monday, April 23, 2012

Watching the Birds

A moment for Levon Helm.
A moment for William Shakespeare.
A moment for the Yankees - Red Sox opening games.
A moment for the Rangers.
A moment for Assateague. 
I was watching the birds again.
Twice as many everywhere.

The little songbirds are fluttering about the bird feeder, chasing each other, buzzing those on one of the four feeding perches. They have an occupancy time allowance for each of the four feeding perches of this bird feeder. There's a schedule. And if one of the birds doesn't adhere to the schedule, well, an impatiently waiting hungry angry bird, who is waiting for its turn on the feeding perch of this bird feeder, will takeoff from its non feeding perch to flutter about and chirp at the culprit staying too long on the feeding perch of this bird feeder until one of the two is victorious. It is a symphonic ballet on wings. I don't know what is more beautiful: the sounds coming from those beaks or what is seen in their movements as caused by their wings.

This avian crescendo was suddenly interrupted by the entrance of Samantha strolling down the path towards the bird feeder. The sound changed abruptly to a staccato as the bird feeder was abandoned. Yes, it was chaotic, all of a sudden, because of Samantha, my cat.

Samantha paced back in forth under the hanging bird feeder slowly and nonchalantly. She was annoyed. She had been sleeping by the door enjoying the sun baking her belly. She was lounging on her back, all four paws raised to the sky occasionally meowing her own hallelujahs.  Slowly the birds arrived for some seeds. Slowly the noise level began to rise. Slowly the chirping and the frantic fluttering of the wings became very noticeable. In fact, the level rose enough to make  Samantha roll over and take notice. She was annoyed. Her face and annoyed meow told me so. She looked at me in an accusative manner. She was right, it was my fault. She stood up, stretched as cats stretch. Stretched her jaw with a gigantic yawn, after all she was going bird hunting. She jumped out the door, bounded down the stairs, only to stroll down the path.

Samantha sat under the hanging feeder, which was one quarter empty already. I'm sure the birds are pessimists. She sat patiently, getting up to shift positions, making herself known, chasing the birds away. Slowly the birds flew away to another feeder. Eventually the last pair had a furious conversation. One of them flew away in disgust muttering all the way to the next feeder. The last one gave a furtive chirp and caught the next air wave to the next feeder. Quiet and calm were restored. Samantha had cleaned up my mess.

It was my fault. Samantha was right. That morning I had filled the bird feeders because they were empty. They were empty because I was away. I filled them and sprinkled some on the ground and waited. I filled them because I first noticed the quiet and then I saw the empty bird feeders. While I waited I had time to reflect on things, you know, I took a moment. 

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