by Ali McKee
A second story of what goes on in little towns in the boondocks!
| Once again, we meet. And yes, once again, I'm distracted by three thousand different things.
I really was being good. My friend Dani and I were headed next door to re-sheet the beds and prepare it for guests staying there the following evening.
We own the old white house, and though the exterior is somewhat dingy now, it's got something charming about it.
"Dani! There's a bird stuck in there!" I halted suddenly, pointing to an old truck only used for parts and storing branches in the back end. As most teenagers are prone to do, we tried to catch the poor thing. By rolling up one dilapidated window, which required much pushing and pulling from all sorts of different angles, we managed to make a sort-of funnel.
"What kind is it? Is it a finch?"
"Nah, I think it's a female Cardinal."
"Oh. Well, if we catch it and it bites us, it'll be a royal pain." Dani cracked. Almost funny, but not quite.
There ensued much screaming and slamming of doors and yells of "Watch it!" and "It's on your side!"
Just as we were going to give up, the silly little thing ran smack into Dani and she caught it. "Whoa."
Straight into a big faded blue box went the Cardinal. A screen slapped over the top provided plenty of air.
"It's going to be different sticking our hands in there and trying to give it water. Look! It's panting! Poor thing." We walked back over to our house, both carrying the little box, and paraded in the front door. Setting it down on a big chair in the kitchen, my little cousin Sue peered curiously into the box.
"Get a Mayo lid. That's the perfect size." I ran over to the cabinet and grabbed out a little white lid and filled it with water, putting some 07 in it for good measure.
Now for the fun part. While one lifted the lid and guarded it, the other had to slip the water in.
I was the first to let out a loud howl.
"Did it bite you?" Dani questioned, looking at me humorously. I had been holding the screen while she attempted to slide the water in.
"Dunno, but it hurt." We slammed the lid down but Dani was still holding the water.
Lifting the lid again slowly, the Cardinal fluttered to the top - and yes - out the top. Into the kitchen. Horror of horrors. My Grandmother wasn't pleased. In fact, quite less than pleased. However, she laughed graciously along with (or at) us as we flew around the kitchen, dashing frantically from one side of the room to the other. She took pictures, too, but I still haven't seen them.
Eventually, we caught the poor thing, a little worse for the wear and short about 9 tail feathers. She was panting and cheeping, and we took her outside to let her go around the area that we caught her. We thought it kinder to let her go than to keep her in a cage, as she had already tasted freedom.
"Can I hold it before we let it go?" I asked Dani. She looked doubtful, but let me try.
And it bit me. Oh, it hadn't even tried to bite Dani, oh no! But poor me: poor me with no gloves!
And so, my story comes to an end, except, not really, for I am positive that tomorrow will bring yet another small-town story.
A cry came from Dani as the bird flew away, chirping indignantly.
"It only has one tail feather, Alison!"
(c) Alison McKenzie - Project Carwash.