Some animal vomited all over the base of a plant in my garden. Not a pleasant sight. We ignored it for a couple of days, then it hardened, and Alf hacked at it with a spade and dumped it into a plastic bag and deposited it in the garbage, which goes out tomorrow.
I mention this because not everything is pretty in my garden.
Occasionally I come across the body of a dead bird on the ground. This usually happens when it bangs into a window. But I have learned to leave it alone because it could be just stunned into unconsciousness and eventually, after a few hours, it will come to and fly off. I can’t think of how many “dead” birds I’ve thrown away when they probably could have survived.
Have I mentioned that every pet we have ever owned, when it died, we buried in the garden? From Chico the ring-neck parrot, Eternity our Siamese, Baxter and Jones, our two parakeets, and Gwen our Springer Spaniel. Right now their burial plots are springing up flowers. Their bones have fertilized the soil and given new life to lovely plants that house hummingbirds and butterflies.
“The circle of life,” Alf said.
“I wonder what the vomit could have produced,” I said.
“Maggots,” Alf said.
“Don’t they make good fertilizer?”
“Not if you want creepy crawlies underfoot.”
Calvin says, “Don’t you bury me in the back when my time comes. I want to be let free in wild grasses to frolic all day long.”
I love birds. At times they’re even funny.
I drove by a soccer field this week with a match in full play. The geese made me laugh out loud. This was clearly their field and they weren’t too happy with the invasion. So what were they doing? The were standing on the sidelines watching the game.
We have woodpeckers in the neighborhood. You can hear their drilling on the telephone poles early mornings. They break for a siesta when the temperatures rise, then resume their work in the cool of the evening. One day our telephone connection will go dead. I’ll call the company on my cell phone and I’ll let them know who to arrest.
The other day a sparrow slammed into the window and crashed to the ground. It sat there with its heart beating through its chest, eyes glazed, all puffed out. We waited 30 minutes and then checked to see if it was dead. It was still alive. Another 30 minutes. We checked again. Still there. This time its beak was tucked into its wing and it was sleeping. We walked outside, it looked up at us, but didn’t move. We came back inside the house and got busy with other things. We completely forgot about it until later on in the afternoon. We checked through the window. It had flown away. I was relieved.
“What makes you think a cat didn’t eat it?” Alf said.
“No feathers,” I said.
That settled the matter.
Calvin says, “Birds are only good for one thing – sticking my nose into their chests and breathing in deeply.”
I read in this week’s news of a clever Japanese parakeet that escaped from home, and landed on the shoulder of a hotel guest in a nearby hotel. The guest had no room in his luggage, so handed the bird over to the police where he remained silent. He didn’t even plead the fifth.
For two days the bird continued his silent treatment. Then on the night of the second day, he leaked his name and address.
The cops were stunned. Here was a voluntary confession they hadn’t squeezed out of the jailbird.
Sure enough, his owner was grateful to have him back. She told the police she had learned her lesson with another bird that flew away and was never able to find. This time, after buying the bird at a pet store two years ago, she had him memorize his name and street address.
What she forgot was his social security number.
Calvin says, “Beagles wouldn’t put up with that rot. We can sniff our way back home.”