If there was ever any doubt, let me mention once again that I love animals. My best friend seems to think that I love animals so much that I’ll need to take a mild sedative should I ever hit one on the road. Or see one hit on the road. Or think about one being hit on the road. After the animal-slaughter month I recently had, I would tend to agree. Up until about four weeks ago, it had been several years since I had struck and killed an animal with my car. Thankfully, a suicidal Meadow Lark ended my lucky-streak, along with his/her life, when it creamed my windshield while driving 85 MPH on the highway. My father was in the car at the time and did what any good father would do by saying, “It’s ok, I saw it fly off.” If by ‘it’ he meant the bird’s head, then he was absolutely correct. I also watched it in the rear-view mirror as it split into pieces and fell to the ground. Surprisingly, I didn’t cry but rather sat there with my eyes wide open and my hand over my mouth for the next ten miles. It was awful.
Over the next few weeks, I seemed to have a hyper-sensitivity to birds as they flew anywhere near my car. Several cars may or may not have been subject to sudden braking and swerving as I tried my best to avoid any more fatal collisions with my feathery friends. It was like every damn bird was playing “Chicken” (ha, get it?) with my car and it was freaking me out!
* Authors note: Without thinking, I duck anytime something flies toward my windshield and then promptly shake my head when I realize that glass separates me from the flying plastic bag and/or other flying debris. I also strain my neck to look around corners on the TV and move the Nintendo controller to the left/right when Mario needs to go that way. It is an involuntary response and I can’t help it.
About three weeks ago, I was following John home when he ran over a dove sitting in the middle of the road. It just sort of popped; feathers flew behind his car and I drove through the aftermath as fluffy bird-parts floated peacefully down to the pavement. OMG. I lost control of all emotions and every ounce of sadness that I had held-in since I killed the Meadow Lark. I was absolutely hysterical as we pulled into the driveway. We got out of our cars and he immediately thought I had taken a phone call on our way over informing me that someone had died. Apparently, he did not even see the bird and it was funny that it “exploded” as I vividly explained the horrid details to him. Word to the wise, laughing at your crying fiancée may or may not have negative influence on your love life.
In what I can only assume is a retaliation attempt from the Bird Kingdom, my house has become a “hot spot” for pigeons over the last week or so. Given my fragile state with the bird-world as of late, I’ve been a little too lenient with the growing population of pigeons taking up roost on my front porch. Last week I finally tired of the mounting pile of pigeon poop and decided to shoo the birds away. When I went outside, all but one little pigeon flew the coop in a hurry to avoid sure death, as I am sure my reputation precedes me. I approached said bird only to find that she can’t fly. Honestly, she tried with all her might and flapped and flapped, but failed to fly away. She fell to the ground countless times and looked at me with sheer terror in her beady little eyes. Poor thing!
Don’t get me wrong, I am NOT a fan of pigeons and sure don’t want them living on my porch. However, this poor little thing was obviously wounded or sick. What kind of person would I be to just put her out on the streets without any shelter, food or water?! My mission was clear: save the poor thing and let her stay until she regained her strength, made a full recovery or died. John generously offered to “put her out of her misery” for me. I begrudgingly refused his offer and let her stay for over a week. Finally, the pile of poop on my porch reached Toxic levels and I decided it was time to take her to the local Bird Rescue.
As I went into the house for a pair of rubber gloves, John had a different idea. I returned to the front porch just in time to see him grab a broom and dash for the bird. I screamed, “NO! She can’t fly and you’re going to hurt her!” I also may or may not have started to cry a little as I plead for him to stop. Suddenly, my little pigeon spread her wings and flew from her spot on my porch all the way across the street to the neighbor’s roof. John looked at me, rolled his eyes, and walked back into the house. It was a frickin’ miracle!