Sunday, June 20, 2010

Battle of the Birds

My husband comes tearing into the bedroom, shouting:  “The kids say the chickens are killing a crow!!”  I throw my blankets back as I go stumbling from the room, not completely awake.  I throw a blanket over my shoulders as I fly through the house and stumble into the mud room to throw on flip flops.   Dear Husband cannot follow me because of his back injury, so I am on my own as I clamber into the frenzy.  The kids are gathered around the chicken yard, screaming at the gang of birds screeching near the fence.  By the time I get to the gate, panic has set in and I am fully awake.  I throw open the gate and step right into the mud.  It has been raining off and on for several weeks and the chicken yard is under a mature tree, so you can only imagine the muddy mess.  I’m hooting and hollering and swiping at the chickens, trying to get them to scatter.   I am awake enough at this point to notice the mud flying all over my legs and nightgown and am beginning to fear landing on my bottom as I slip and slide through the mud.  At the bottom of the muddy fray, I find a crow laying on it’s back.  It is breathing but in shock.  I am breathing, but in shock.  I have one of the kids join me in the pen to help keep the chickens away.   I sent another one off to get chicken food, for obvious reasons.  I sent another to get me some gloves so I could get the bird out of the mud and carry it to safety to see if we could save it’s life.
The whole time I am in the coop, I have two very concerned crows making a huge racket in the tree above me.  I do not like these birds.  They live in the top of one of my pine trees and they terrorize the other birds that live in our yard.  They even go so far as to kill the other birds’ babies.   Their nagging caws haunt most of my days in the warmer months as they chase the other birds out of their nests and now I have them cawing a few branches over my head.  They are screeching and flitting around.  I look up and plead with them to calm down.  I am concerned about their family member and so I start talking to these birds, as if they can understand me.  That is how crazy and chaotic the situation was.  After a few sentences, I turn my focus back to the bird on the ground and one of the birds in the trees decided to poop on my head.  POOP ON MY HEAD!!!  I added my scream to the mix of noise made by 6 frightened children, 2 crows and 20 chickens with a turf dispute.   I had visions of laughing neighbors fly through my head.
My gloves arrived shortly after the chicken food and I was able to scoop the bird up and gingerly flee from the muddy mess.  At that point a groaning husband had joined the fray and tried to help me out.  All I could keep saying was, “They pooped on my head.”  I was very traumatized by the experience.  I took the bird into the garage and the kids scrambled to make it a soft bed in a box.  While I was examining the bird, our cat slinked out of the house and I became concerned, once again, for the birds safety.  So, we closed the garage door in order to keep the bird safe while it recovered from shock.  I could only a little blood and couldn’t see any other injuries, so I was pretty sure the bird would survive.  While the bird rested, three of my children ate their breakfast on the garage steps so they could keep an eye on the bird.  I, on the other hand, tip toed through the house to the bathroom so I could take a much needed shower.  I had mud all over my feet, legs, and pajamas and my hair was in desperate need of a washing.
After I was cleaned up, calmer and more ready to begin my day, we caught the cat and brought it inside and moved the bird outside so it could fly away when it was ready.  At some point in the next hour, it recovered enough to fly away.  I on the other hand am still trying to recover from the experience.  It was a very exciting and messy way to start my morning.  I hope I never have to do it that way again.
The irony of the situation is not lost on me.  I have complained against and plotted ways to get rid of these birds for two summers now.   This morning, I found myself trying desperately, all but comically, to save one of their lives.  Maybe it flew back to the nest and convinced the other two that it is too dangerous to live here anymore.  That would be a wonderful conclusion to this story.
We were blessed with free potatoes deer meat and so we had deer stew for dinner.  The kids were troopers.  The taste is a bit different from beef, but they ate it.  We will have deer chili early next week as well.
The kids made cookies for Daddy today and I made him a fleece blanket.  He was at our Helena WalMart and saw fleece with Colorado State University on it, which is a college we both attended.  He called me and asked if I would make him a blanket out of it for Father’s Day.  He likes it very much and used it last night to keep warm as he slept in a chair since his back is keeping him from lying down for extended periods of time.
Have a blessed evening and may you wake up slowly in the morning.
Be blessed.
One Comment to

“Battle of the Birds”

  1. June 20th, 2010 at 11:12 am e     Reply Draper Says: Oh…I only wish you had called us during this series of events…and that we wouldn’t be home to take your call…so that you could leave a bunch of messages, or one long message with all sorts of info mentioned above in the message…so that Mark could get his creative juices flowin’ and make another CD for you!

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