Bird in the stove
I have often said that my wife Claudia is a saint. She loves animals both big and small. She will talk to birds, and they will talk back to her. One time I watched her lift up her hand and a small bird land on her finger. She does have a way with animals. She loves them, and they usually love her back.
We have a fireplace insert. The insert is supposedly an "earth stove," and is supposed to be energy efficient. It is black and squat, it has two doors with large ornate brass handles and tempered glass windows. We don't use it. We haven't used it for well over a year. The last time we tried to start a fire; it filled our house with smoke.
"I guess there's something wrong with our chimney." I coughed. "It doesn't seem to be drawing all that well.
"Open the windows" screamed my wife fanning the smoke. "Close the bedroom doors."
"I'm going to try and put the fire out" I continued to cough as I filled a water bucket...
"Bill don't! No, no, nooooooooo…"
Additional clouds of smoke billowed throughout the house. That was the last time that we ever tried to build a fire. The insert now sits in our fire place, empty, cold and unused.
It was bedtime, and my wife walked into our bedroom with a distressed look.
"Bill, there is something in our fire place!"
"There's something in our fire place. I think it might be a bird, I can hear scratching and flapping sounds."
"It could be a bat." I said as I pulled the covers up to my chin.
"I'm going to get flashlight and look" responded my wife.
I groaned, "It's bedtime. I'm tired. We can look in the morning."
Claudia ignored my whining, grabbed a six volt flashlight and went downstairs.
I drifted off to sleep.
"Bill! Bill! There IS a bird in our fire place."
I opened an eye "You can either get the cat and let him take care of it; or we can look at it tomorrow." I turned over and pulled the blankets over my head.
The next morning Claudia woke me up with "It's still there; the bird is still in our fire place!"
I yawned "do we have something that we can use for a net?"
Claudia found a large, red scarf and I found a green, mesh laundry bag, neither seemed satisfactory.
"How about the net we bought to clean the swimming pool?" I asked
"It's too big," replied my wife. "It won't fit into the insert doors."
I dressed and ventured down stairs.
"Where did the bird seed come from?" I asked
My wife gave me a strange look. "Birds have to eat all the time, so I put some into the fire place last night."
I decided that it was time for me to take charge. "Okay, let's get that bird."
I approached our fire place. My plan was to use my pool cleaning net. I grasped the brass handle on the door of the insert with one hand, while grasping the pool net with my other. The door swung open; followed by a fluttering bird, a small Junco. I fumbled with the net; mantel piece pictures and knick knacks flew in all directions. The bird fluttered into our front window and fell to the floor.
I grabbed the net and pounced, falling on my face in the process. The Junco recovered, eluded my net and fluttered up the stairway. I could see the tiny creature perched on the top of a book case on the landing, midway up my stairs.
"Be careful" admonished my wife. "Don't hurt that bird."
"I'll be careful," said I as I swung the net scattering books in the process.
The Junco again eluded my net and flew through a door into our bed room. I followed. It was now perched on a curtain rod above our bed.
"Hey bird," said I muttered. "Don't poop on my pillow."
The bird chirped and I responded in a louder voice "I said, don't poop on my pillow…"
It was unbelievable, but after this minor act of defiance, the bird began to sing.
"Here birdy. Nice bird. Hold still so I can net you." I climbed up on my bed and the bird fluttered into our open clothes closet.
My wife had had enough of my antics. "Let me take over," she said in an authoritative voice. "You're scaring the poor thing.
"Okay, what do you have in mind?"
"I want you to close all the doors, except the bedroom door and our front door. Find that green net laundry sack and bring it up here."
I did as I was told and returned with the net sack. I could hear the bird chirping in the closet. I stood back as my wife motioned at the bird. The little Junco took its' cue from her and fluttered out of the closet and back into the bedroom.
My wife smiled "Now, I want you to use that net sack to carefully herd the bird toward the door."
I waved the net sack and the bird fluttered into the hall to the top of the stairs.
I waved it again and the bird flew down the stairs and out through the open front door to freedom.
"Phew" I exhaled.
"Good Job" smiled my wife. "Now get a broom and I'll help you clean up the mess that you've made."
Claudia is a saint. She is bright and smart and she really does love animals. I am not sure if she worked any miracles, but I still might write a letter to the Pope. I can't think of any reasons why he wouldn't let a Protestant become a saint, can you?
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