Halloween Eve was not fun this year. We awoke to a fall chill inside our home and the sound of a bird chirping nearby. At first I thought that I was dreaming, but when the shrill cry continued and my husband Mike heard it as well, I knew that something was amiss. A quick search of the house revealed other birds slamming against our windows as though they were attempting to find a way to enter. It was all rather bizarre and Hitchcock-like.
At first we wondered if we were just imagining things because the sound of the bird suddenly ceased and we were unable to see any signs of the creature. Then we spotted him shivering with fear in a corner of our bedroom. Since I had experienced a similar incident when I was a child I knew what we needed to do to guide the little guy to our back door and out of the house.
First we closed every door that led to another room. Then we pulled the back door wide open. With a bit of patience we managed to lure the creature out of our bedroom but in his fear he chose to fly upstairs rather than in the direction of freedom. Our next goal was to keep him downstairs and hope that we would be able to help him understand that there was a way out. Once we got him back into the lower part of the house I stood guard on the upstairs landing like a living scarecrow, which was not too difficult to do since my I was still in my jammies with a shock of tousled bed hair making me look rather frightful to man or beast.
In the meantime Mike was downstairs slowly but surely leading the bird to the kitchen where we hoped he would feel the breeze from the outdoors and follow his instincts back to his home in the trees. It took a bit longer than we expected, but no doubt sheer terror had overtaken his limited ability to think. We laughed ecstatically as soon as he flew onto the back patio and immediately slammed the door shut lest he become disoriented and come back inside.
A tour of the house provided evidence of what must have been a horrific night for him. He had left droppings on window sills, the floor and sections of the carpet in many different areas as he searched for an escape from his terror. I felt terrible that we did not notice him sooner. I had heard some strange sounds in the night, but I laid them off to the usual things that go bump in the night. He was so tiny that he hardly created a stir even when he was in full flight.
I have no idea how he got inside. Mike had been doing some work in the garage and he has a bad habit of leaving the garage door and the door to the house wide open when he is busy puttering at his work bench. I suspect that the little guy erroneously flew inside and then got confused and finally trapped. I can’t think of any other possibility, but then who knows?
Luckily the bird was so tiny. When I was a child we had a fully grown crackle get inside through an open window without a screen. My brother had removed the covering on a very hot summer day thinking that he might get a bit more air without an obstruction. What he got instead was a large bird that became hysterical in its fight for freedom. As he flitted from one perch to another he knocked over lamps and broke bric-a-brac including my collection of ceramic animals that I had gathered from friends and vacations over the years. I literally cried watching the creature destroying my things like a real life bull in a china shop.
We finally realized that our only recourse was to seal off all other rooms and open my brother’s bedroom window as much as possible. It seemed like time stood still as the poor animal dive bombed toward us in defensive posture. We were running and screaming in chaos like crazed cats. Little wonder that the poor bird was behaving like a star in The Birds. I can’t say who was more frightened as the battle to rid ourselves of the intruder ensued.
With sheer luck that old crackle finally dove toward the open window and into infinity and beyond. We cheered and sealed the opening as quickly as possible, then found the screen and replaced it on the window. Once we all felt safe we laughed at our adventure and put it in our book of exciting childhood memories. I never thought that I would relive that moment again, but the day before Halloween 2021, there it was. We had our real live version of horror with a little harmless bird.
I must admit that I worried for a bit that we would not be able to get the creature back outside. I had boasted to Mike that I knew what to do without telling him about the mass confusion that had ensued in my childhood under a similar circumstance. I only hope that we would be successful but wondered in the back of my mind if we would have to call an animal removal service. Mostly I feared that the poor creature might actually die inside the house, a situation that I could not bear to even imagine. My heart took wings when he made it back into nature.
We never quite know what to expect when we arise each morning. I’ve learned over time to be ready for almost anything, even having a bird trapped inside my home. We live with the creatures of the earth. We build on their land, overtake their habitats and think little about how we have invaded them. I wonder if they are happy when we leave their space. I think that may be the case. Perhaps we should consider them just a bit more.