Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Angry Bird

This is the sort of thing that always happens a day or so before we're planning on going out of town. Here we are all excited about spending 3 days at some swanky resort in San Diego,  when a critter decides to take up residence in our attic.

My wife missed her calling.  She should have been one of the Super Friends. Pam has super-sonic powers of hearing. The two of us will be sitting in the family room with the television blaring when she will turn to me and say,  "Are you going to get that?" I look at her, bewildered, knowing that her turbo-ears have picked up some faint sound. I turn my ears upward hoping against hope that I will hear it too, but after a while I answer,  "Get what?"  She looks at me like I am some pitiful creature with a profound disability.  "You can't hear that??!! The kids toilet is running!! Geeze!"  Then she storms upstairs to jiggle the handle. Sometimes we will be in bed and she will say.." Listen to that squirrel."  I will perk my ears up and conjure up all of my powers of concentration to no avail. "What squirrel?"  She will look over at me and incredulously answer, "The one in Lilly's back yard with the heart murmur! You can't hear that??"

Well, for the past two or three days Pam has been pestering me to do something about the critter in the attic, which until this morning had gone totally undetected by my merely human powers of hearing. But at 7:30 I heard something shuffling around up there, so I grabbed my trusty Daisy Powerline 35 pump-action, duel ammo BB gun purchased a while back to rid us of the great squirrel infestation of 2010, and carefully opened the door to the attic and made my way silently up the stairs. The lighting up there isn't great and it was quite cold, but my blood was running hot with the thrill of the hunt. At the top of the stairs I heard a flutter in the back left corner and thought I saw movement. This squirrel was going down!! I tip-toed closer and saw that whatever it was was actually in the overhanging eave. I sent a slug towards the offending sound and suddenly a loud flutter came roaring out of the darkness, black and angry, flying way too close to my head. My heart began beating the doors off of my chest as I spun around to follow the flight. It was some sort of black bird and he was mightily pissed.  He flew in disoriented circles from one end of the space to the other. Since I had already fired a shot, I couldn't fire another until I had re-pumped the gun 20 times, a major design flaw I might add, so I ran back down the stairs to close the door so this angry bird couldn't fly into the house. After pumping like a wild man, I was ready for the kill if only the bird would light somewhere. Providentially, he came to rest on a rafter about 10 feet above my head. I fired and  knocked him off of his perch. In a flurry of feathers he fell down to the floor out of sight and as I gave chase I could hear him flapping and squawking wildly. By the time I reached the landing at the top of the stairs he was nowhere to be found, which meant that now I had a dying bird hidden somewhere in my attic. After an exhausting search failed to locate the now silent menace, I shut the door securely and headed to work. Now on my lunch hour, I went back up to try again. This time I hear the bird in the eave all the way on the opposite side of the attic from whence he came, clearly in duress and unable to fly. I can't see him but every couple of minutes I hear his wounded shuffle. Who knows how long its going to take before he finally goes to that big bird-feeder in the sky? But at least now he's in the eave that overhangs Patrick's room. Maybe if I shut the door to his room and line the door frame with blankets and pillows, Pam won't be able to hear the death throws.  Who am I kidding? She can probably hear me typing this all the way from her room at Rivers Edge. Stupid bird!