Get the exclusive (almost) Weekly Digest.

    An Inconvenient Bird

    June 18, 2008 by Brandy Vencel

    Dear Mrs. Killdeer,

    You and I have known each other for, what, approximately three years now? I remember vividly when we first met. I had no idea who you were. My brother-in-law called you “that little roadrunner-type bird” because you were so quick on your feet. You nested in our backyard which was, at the time, an untamed wilderness even though our landlord had promised it would be otherwise.


    You nested, but your babies did not survive.

    However, you returned the following year, and repeated your folly. We watched with amusement as you scolded our children {and every other living creature who came near you}). Sometimes, your husband joined you in your great noisemaking, and the sound was deafening. We never did believe you when you pretended to have a broken wing, though the children sometimes did.

    This year, however, we decided things were going to be different. And, really, this was for your own good. After all, you are no match for three small children filled with curiosity. I mean, it would be one thing if you had the sense to nest in a tree like most other birds. But no! You insist on digging a hole right smack in the middle of the yard and laying your eggs there. Is there no end to your foolishness? We are amazed that you have survived these thousands of years.

    And you can’t take a hint. Every time you dug your little hole, we instructed our son to fill it in. Don’t let her nest there! we told him. We were attempting to save you from yourself.

    But you took advantage of our absence. We were gone only three days, and yet in that time you dug a nest and laid yourself three eggs. I saw you sitting there upon our return and rushed out to stop you, but the little eggs were already there. I sighed.

    And as if to add insult to injury, you laid a fourth egg the following day.

    And now you have the audacity to complain about your situation. You were offended, for instance, when the six-year-old squirted you with a water gun. Don’t you know that one of the reasons he delights in it is because you are so dramatic in your response? Calm down, lady. Get a grip! And then it upset you when the three-year-old was touching your eggs. Your eggs are speckled. When we questioned her, she told us she thought they were dirty and she was cleaning them. We are sorry, but perhaps you should keep things more tidy on the homefront.

    And then there is the way you treat our baby. You yell and scream and curse her from the moment she walks out the back door. It was she we were trying to protect you from. She has no idea that there are eggs in your nest. She cannot fathom why you sit hour after hour in the middle of the backyard in one hundred degree heat and no shade. All she knows is that you are cute and you move when she does and it is so very fun to chase moving objects.

    We warned you. We filled in your early nests twice. But you insisted that you belonged here, and now that your eggs have arrived, we feel obligated to protect you a bit until your gestating is done.

    However, comma…

    If you spend one more night up squawking at who knows what, keeping me from precious sleep, I only have one word for you, Lady:


    The Lady of the House

    Get the (almost) weekly digest!

    Weekly encouragement, direct to your inbox, (almost) every Saturday.

    Powered by ConvertKit

    1 Comment

  • Reply Ellen June 18, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    I can sympathize.

  • Leave a Reply