“Grandfather! Grandfather! There is a bird in the house! Come quick!” Ginny ran yelling to where her grandfather had been peacefully ‘resting his eyes’ after spending the earlier morning hours working at his crossword puzzle.
“What?!? What is it Ginny, is your grandmother alright?” he said half-leaping out of his recliner before his bones remembered their age and slowed down his progress.
Frustrated that her grandfather didn’t immediately understand the obvious emergency of a bird being in the house, Ginny let out a loud huff like she had seen her mother do countless times in similar situations, and grabbing her grandfather’s hand, led him towards the kitchen-and the bird. “Grandmother is fine, she’s in the garden, but grandfather there is a bird in the kitchen!” she exclaimed for what must have been the 800th time.
Arriving in the kitchen, the twosome spotted the bird in question, a little house wren, who was perched happy-as-you-can-be on top of the sugar canister. Smiling at the small creature, who was currently engaged at investigating the floral pattern of the metal container where it was sitting, Ginny’s grandfather laughed, “Well, would you look at that? Must have flown in through the open French doors there…”
Outraged at her grandfather’s flippant behavior, Ginny stared wide-eyed up at him, “It’s not funny, grandfather! We have got to help him!”
“Okay, lil bit. What would you suggest we do?” her grandfather responded calmly, trying not to chuckle at his granddaughter’s earnest concern.
“Well, I have a plan, see?” Pulling out a page from her coloring book that she had stuffed in her pink corduroy pants pocket, Ginny flattened it out to reveal a quickly-executed sketch in purple crayon. “This is me here and this is you-,” she said pointing to one small stick figure (with a pink bow) and a larger stick figure. “Here I am making a million paper airplanes. You’re helping too. Then when we are done, it should only take like fifteen minutes ‘cause they are super easy, we will throw all of them through the door and outside. The bird will see all of the planes flying out through the door and he will follow them- I think he doesn’t know he can fly out that way,” she finished, obviously very proud of her plan.
“Of course if that doesn’t work I can always make a net or a bird-catching robot,” Ginny continued with a little less enthusiasm.
Smiling at her creativity, Ginny’s grandfather stroked his whiskers in feigned thoughtfulness before saying, “Why don’t we wait and see what he does on his own?”
Outraged all over again at his passive attitude towards the poor trapped bird, Ginny crossed her arms in disapproval, how could they just do nothing?!? She couldn’t understand it but decided to stay quiet and do as her grandfather had instructed.
For several minutes they both watched as the wren hopped about and twitched its head. Then, when Ginny didn’t think she could stand there another moment without trying to help the poor bird, something amazing happened. Cocking its head in their direction briefly, the house wren let out a loud CHIRP! Before flying from its perch on the sugar jar and out through the open doors.
“Grandfather! It worked! You’re a genius! How did you do that?” Ginny couldn’t believe what she had just witnessed.
“Sometimes you just gotta sit back and let things work themselves out,” her grandfather said cheerfully.
Staring at him thoughtfully, Ginny was silent for a few minutes before replying, “Let’s go play outer space and rocketman!”
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: After another crappy Monday, I arrived home with my best intention to do absolutely nothing constructive for as long as I could manage. My pity-party was quickly interrupted, however, when a dainty little house wren decided to fly inside and flit about my kitchen. I always panic a bit when a bird flies inside (we keep our back doors open all year long when we’re home) and immediately feel the need to rush to its assistance and help it find its way back outside. Thankfully, I am smart enough to resist this urge and quietly wait while the little guy investigates for a few minutes before deciding there was no easy meal to be had and flies out the way he came in. On days like today where I have to ‘sit by’ and watch things happen on a scale that I have no control over but nevertheless could greatly impact the job I do, it does me good to remember, sometimes the best thing you can do is just sit back and watch the events unfold on their own. And sometimes, it’s best to say ‘screw it’ and just make a cheesecake.
TWO: I got two new pairs of cords today, and wearing them always makes me feel like a kid. I especially like the sound they make anytime you walk really fast… I feel like a cartoon.
Love & Squirrels.