Flight of the Mysterious Intruders
animal knows more than you do."
American Proverb (Nez Perce)
up early one morning and Sadie was barking. This was unusual
she lives by the old proverb: “Always put off until tomorrow
that interferes with a nap.”
to go see why she was barking. I peeked into the room and there in
of the fireplace sat both Sadie and Ally Cat. I could tell at a glance
had the fireplace cornered! Each of them had planted themselves on
side of the hearth, watching it closely. I wondered what would make
both decide to sit there together with Sadie barking at an empty
Ally Cat normally doesn’t descend her lofty throne on the
for anyone unless food is involved.
the time of year for Santa so I wondered what other intruder
possibly enter via the chimney. I decided to observe the situation for
why they were so engrossed with the fireplace so I took my post on the
a cup of tea in hand. The cat switched her tail and laid her ears
back as if
by my presence in the room. She seemed quite sure that she
situation under control and I figured she probably did. She
while the feet are bare” and I have learned to wear thick socks.
getting bored and about to call off the watch when suddenly I heard
Yes, there it was again! It was a scraping sound. Sadie got excited
barking and looking at me as if I were completely irresponsible for not
having a shotgun handy. About that time, I heard a fluttering noise
with what could only be described as a bird scream. Yes, there was
in distress in the chimney!
cleaning the fireplace one time when we first moved into
house. At that time, I had opened the damper just to test it when
bird fell out. Upon remembering that, what else was there to do?
just leave a screaming bird in the chimney so I decided I would
the damper to see if I could get the bird out because it obviously
get out at the top of the chimney.
by moving all the stuff away from in front of the fireplace. With
paraphernalia out of the way, I needed to move the fire screen so I
it away from the front of the fireplace. Now I was ready to open
damper so I reached up inside the fireplace, as both animals waited expectantly,
I couldn't seem to find the damper. After a couple of tries,
that I needed to call for reinforcements. I got to thinking that
might like to be the bird hero of the day and help me. After all,
want to be greedy and claim all the glory for saving a bird’s life.
to my husband a couple of times and finally I heard him say, "Where are
is coming from the tech man who travels the country and carries
phone, compass, and a global positioning device but he
can't seem to find me in the house.
he came into the room, looked the situation over, and said,
going to let a bird loose in the house?” I couldn't remember the
about birds flying in the house but I came up with one of my
“Better a live bird in the house than a dead one in the chimney.”
thought maybe you could catch it before it flies out of the chimney if
keep the fire screen close to the fireplace”, I suggested.
show a lot of enthusiasm about that idea.
him no time at all to reach up inside the fireplace and open the damper.
at once, not one, but TWO birds were flying around in the house and the
and cat were going wild! The birds were trying to get away from the
was barking and chasing them and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a
jump quite that high before.
for the front door to open it so the birds could fly outside but
door was stuck! As I tried to hurry, I twisted and pulled
doorknob. It finally opened after I put one foot on the wall and
all my might and fell down. I think I’ll be able to
normally again in a month or so.
the next problem was getting the birds to go out the door!
and Ally were trying to do their part by chasing them and I
those poor birds were wishing they had never
out of that chimney at all!
trying to keep the dog and cat from having an early lunch when
barked again and one bird found the door and flew away. My husband
trying to catch the other bird that had gotten in the window behind
geraniums but it got away from him. Finally, after one more flight
house, the last bird also flew out the door to join his friend in a bush
we didn't catch a bird, we will never know if the old proverb
“A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” However, we do know
were both starlings, so “Birds of a feather do flock together”.
Pamela Perry Blaine
© March, 2004