Bird in the House

Mike & the Bird in the House: A Love Story Attack of the Sparrow Devils

I was upstairs in my home office when I heard the scream. It wasn’t a surprised yelp, or angry roar, or a bloodcurdling scream of terror; it was more like one of the Three Stooges had accidentally picked up a hot pot handle and then forgotten to put it back down.  Sort of a “Whooooooaaahhhwooooowhoaaaaeeeee!”

bird in the house

A female house sparrow plots Mike’s death. Note the  evil in her eyes.

Then the slam of a door.

Then the slam of a second door.


I leaped from my chair and ran downstairs to the basement, where Mike works. Not chained to the wall or anything; he just works there.

Our basement is split into two areas; a large “L” shaped finished part and then a rectangular unfinished part where we keep the washer and dryer and two huge industrial embroidery machines for our online dog gift store and sister stores (listed at the bottom of this site – coupon code “kidfreeliving” gets 10% off!).  Mike was standing just outside one of the two doors that lead into the unfinished area.

“What’s the matter?” I asked.

“There’s a bird in the house!”

“A bird in the house? Where?”

“I trapped it in there,” Mike said, pointing at the closed off unfinished area. He was panting, his eyes wild as he kept a lookout for Death from Above. He aggressively fluffed  his hair like he was trying to shake out lice.

“Do you think there is a bird in your hair?” I asked.

“I DON’T KNOW!” he snapped, agitated.

How is there a bird in the house?” I asked.

“I let the dog out,” said Mike, nodding towards the sliding door to the back porch. “It must of flown in, but I don’t know how…” his voice trailed off.

“What?” I asked, as I watched the blood drain from his face. He looked like he’d just remembered he’d left his mother tied to the roof of the car.

“What if we’ve had a bird in the house for days?”  Mike hissed in the same horror movie tone people say things like “What if the killer clown isn’t dead?”

“So what if we did have a bird in the house for days?” I asked. “Do you think we have the avian flu now? Do you think she’s left eggs in every nook and cranny and there will be a swarm of them by days end?”

Mike stared at me. “I never considered he could be a female…” He scanned the room again, presumably because you can’t predict sparrow strikes, and scientists are still unsure exactly how often they need human blood.

I shook my head and slowly opened the door to the back room. I peered in. Seeing the coast was clear, I slipped in and Mike followed. I looked in the rafters, finally spotted a small, panting sparrow in the corner. Strange, because I’d expected a pterodactyl.

“There she is,” I said.

Mike threw his hands over his head and ducked. “Where?”

Spotting us, the bird flew from one side of the room to the other. Mike dove, waving his long skinny arms above his head like Kermit the Frog celebrating.

We found a fishing net. One of us tried to get the bird to fly while the other tried to snag it in the net without  hurting it. We failed miserably. No matter how terrified the sparrow might have been, he always had the wits to dodge the net.

Finally, the solution hit me.

“I’m going to open the door and let him into the finished area and lock him out of here,” I said.

“NOOO!” screamed Mike.

“Why? It’s the best way. Then we’ll just open the back door and chase him toward it until he leaves on his own.”

“NO!” Mike repeated. “If we leave the door open six more will fly IN!”

I stared at Mike trying to process his logic. “Michael. Do you think there is a squadron of sparrows outside just waiting to get into the house?”

“MAYBE,” Mike snapped. “Or what if he goes upstairs?”

“So what?” I said. “Worse case scenario we have to go open all the doors up there and maybe we get droppings on the sofa.”

Mike sighed, defeated. We opened the doors and chased the bird into the other half of the basement. Moments later, the sparrow made a mad dash for the opened sliding door and was gone. Mike nearly killed himself leaping over the sofa to slide the door shut behind it. He remained there, face pressed against the glass, searching for others.

“They’re hiding behind the trees,” I said. “Hundreds of them, with tiny pitchforks…”

“Shut up,” he mumbled.

I pat him on the back and headed back upstairs.

“They’re birds,” I called back. “Not zombies.”

“Whatever,” said Mike. “You never had one fly at your head while you’re working!”

He had me there. I made a mental note to look up a good doctor for Post Traumatic Sparrow.

Amy Vansant

16 Responses

  1. Diane Valerius Radel

    Mike, I feel you buddy. I once, while waiting for a ferry, had a large black bird fly down, and violently pluck hair from my head. Presuming the bird planned to use my former hair for nest building, I immediately decided that I should change my hair color to something other than “Straw.”


  2. Dale Rogerson

    Oh my Lord! What a great way to start the day – well, it started almost four hours ago but I digress… That is hilarious!

    I do feel for you Mike – but I feel way more for YOU Amy! I have three “Mikes” in my house… 😉


  3. cj

    Amy! I wonder how Mike would handle the slithering gecko in the living room. We had this a few months back while trying to enjoy our books. We thought it was some horrible beast of an insect. Then we found it hiding under a table, scared to death. We were embarrassed for ourselves. I picked him up between thumb and index and put him/her out. Sweet little thing…

    But sparrows are another story. They’ll peck your effing eyes out and feed them to their chicks.


    • Dale Rogerson

      Aw jeez… maybe it was Leonard? We lost our poor little gecko. Never found his remains… we fear maybe Zeke (our German Shepard) ate him and left no evidence. ‘Twas a sad day in our household, my son had him for 7 years….


  4. Melissa Marie

    I went to pick my mother up to drive her to the airport a few years ago and she casually mentioned she thought they had a squirrel in the house. “And you’re going on vacation with a squirrel living in your house?”

    Knowing English, as squirrels do, and comedic timing, it appeared jumping from the drapes like a cirque du solei act.

    Our mission was then to drive the squirrel out of the house. But it was stupid. And despite my best efforts to look like a scary wall, all he saw was an obstacle to overcome and he ran at me, used my body as a launch pad (leaving tiny little scratches I assumed would lead to rabies) flying over my shoulder and into a room that didn’t have an open door.

    Much like Mike, I screamed like the zombies had bitten me and ran into another room because it was clear the squirrel wanted me dead.

    I’ve never fully recovered and can’t walk by a squirrel in the park without my chest sort of humming… or maybe it’s just me humming… but squirrels are scary.


    • Amy Vansant

      I laughing – read a story once about a squirrel using things as a springboard which was one of the funniest things I’ve ever read, so I had a good mental picture!


  5. Deb

    Haha, Post Traumatic Sparrow, awww…. Well, I have to say that having a bat fly into your house is even worse. That would have threw him over the edge, I’m sure. And those things carry diseases. They say they stick to your hair too… not sure if that’s an ol’ wives tale. Not sure what an “ol’ wives tale” is anyway. Carry on..



  6. Lance

    We have this going on now. Apparently a humming bird nest is located in our basement. There are at least two Hitchcockian horrible birds. My middle daughter is a brown belt in judo but scared to death of these birds. Maybe Lyla and Mike should form a support group.


  7. Christian at Point Counter-Point Point Point

    Hmm… That sounds like one of those death birds. They are always trying to get in my way while I’m riding my bike to work to get make me crash. And then die. Mike was right how he acted. You can’t be too safe when dealing with death birds.


  8. slapshot

    Once upon a time, I feared the avian too, until my (now ex) wife insisted that we get an African Grey Parrot.

    I have had sole custody of him since our breakup (she practically threw him at me as I left) and I’ve learned very well how to contend with flying things.

    I will admit that when he runs around my apartment, yelling “GONNA GET YOU!”, it can be a bit disconcerting, but the main thing is to remember that you intimidate them as well.

    Stern looks, and making him watch me cook chicken while I explain that I am eating DEAD BIRD, seem to have an effect. Also, vacuuming the floor works! (As an extra bonus it scares the hell out of the cat and thus keeps it in line as well)

    My efforts seem to be paying off because although he always asks to “Go in the car?”, he hasn’t asked to borrow it yet.


  9. Raymond

    My grandma used to say “a bird in the house, a death in the house.” Here’s hoping it’s the bird who bites it. 🙂


  10. Nina Potts

    This all just sounds like a brilliant lead in to an April Fools joke.

    Maybe you should tell him how that movie “The Birds” was made (it involved real birds dive bombing people a bit).



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