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!”
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 DoodleSport.com 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.