A surprise visit from a chatty intruder

A brown little bird whizzed by my ear and flew into my home as I opened the patio door to reach for the broom standing in the corner. A surprise and unexpected visit from a winged intruder I quickly named Tweet-Tweet was, for the first three minutes, a playful flurry that I enjoyed. When that novelty wore off, anxiety settled in. How could I make Tweet-Tweet fly out the open door! With no thought of catching it, I just wanted to shoo it away, out the open door. It read my mind if it had any brain at all. I decided, yes, definitely with a brain in its tiny pointed head. It expertly avoided me, often with exultant chirp-chirps that teased and irritated. No, that’s not all correct, Tweet-Tweet amused me, too. Strangely, I found myself chatting back with a lilting chirp-chirp version of my own that aimed to top Tweet-Tweet’s. When I did, Tweet-Tweet stopped fleeting back and forth, alighted on a ledge far above my reach, and ogled at me with its round black eyes like I was a friend, or plain crazy. Then it resumed circling the living room with such graceful elegance and no qualms, no shame, like it was master of the house. For one fleeting moment, I considered keeping it for a house pet. Quickly I abandoned that ridiculous thought when it fluttered about my head in taunting fashion.

Naah! Let it out, I decided. Can’t keep this pesky little creature that refuses to follow my house rules – can’t hop on the furniture fabric, can’t poop on the window sill, can’t flutter about aimlessly like a bat, can’t stare at me challengingly like I was the intruder. Grizzly! It peed on my window ledge.

In another five minutes of watching Tweet-Tweet ruffle about in my mezzanine and living room, I changed my mind about its intelligence. Tweet-Tweet repeatedly fluttered to the glass window, startled itself with a bump, and kept that routine as though it was a game. Soon, I realized that it was no game at all. Tweet-Tweet actually wanted to fly out. The room that most likely seemed to be a playground was turning to be restricting and curtailing to its freedom.

Surprise of all surprises, I caught it alight on the floor in front of the open patio door, looking out like it was trying to decide whether to escape. It stared back at me with its marble eyes, flew about the room in maddening circles and alighted once more on the floor in front of the patio door, then just fluttered out. I rushed to shut the door, peered out, but never caught sight of Tweet-Tweet. For some minutes l Iooked for Tweet-Tweet, hoping it would whoosh by. I even called out several refrains of chirp-chirp. Was I nuts? Didn’t I want it to leave? Was I missing that cute little rascal and its staccato, daunting chirp-chirp? Shouldn’t I be relieved that it was gone?

Tweet-Tweet left me a gift, the memory of a haunting visit and a mysteriously catchy chirp-chirp song that I find myself mimicking even now. But I don’t look forward to another intrusion.

What kind of a bird was it anyway? Five times the size of a hummingbird, dark brown feathery wings that covered most of its body, yellow brown torso, and tiny black marble eyes that never seemed to close.

Linda P. Jacob


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