Tuesday, June 27, 2006
The Battle Of The Birds
As my home has been overrun by the Ravishing Mrs. Cordeiro's Book Club, I have been relegated to the basement with my two children, Cordeirinho and Cordeirinha. They are currently desecrating the 42" Plasma TV with a showing of The Great Mouse Detective. All I know is it will take several showings of manly flicks such as Master & Commander and Top Gun to return the Plasma to its normal testosterone levels.
As I have seen The Great Mouse Detective one too many times (the number of times being one) I shall regale you with a story that will soon become part of the ever growing volume of Cordeiro Lore. Some is fact. Some is fiction. Sometimes you're never really sure which is which. That's the great thing about lore.
A few months ago I was due to leave my home for a few weeks of business travel. It has become an accepted fact that at least one disaster will strike my home or family while I am away. Realize there is a very broad definition of the term disaster. Usually it constitutes an event which I would be required to handle were I in the same zip code at the time of the event.
Disasters can range from illness affecting one or more of the household members - although the term Complete and Total Disaster usually requires the illness to affect the Ravishing Mrs. Cordeiro. Then, of course, there are the usual malfunctions of automobiles, computers, and any host of home appliances.
Sometimes disaster strikes just as I am about to leave. Such was the case with what has come to be called The Battle of the Birds.
It was a normal Sunday morning. My flight was scheduled to leave at around two in the afternoon, thus giving me a chance to get the family off to church and then myself off to the airport. I was even going to get a chance to sleep in.
Murphy always has a field day when I try to sleep in.
Around 6 am, the Ravishing Mrs. Cordeiro shook me out of a dead sleep. "I hear scratching in the attic," she whispered. "Its just the trees against the roof," I said, calmly attempting to assuage her concerns. I don't know why I keep trying to do that. It never works.
"I think you should go up there and check it out." With that pronouncement, I surrendered my sabbath slumber and went to pilfer my neighbor's ladder.
Getting into my attic requires a form of gymnastics that I am very poor at performing. The attic is hot, blown insulation is everywhere, and I have to be very careful so as to not put an appendage through the ceiling of any number of upstairs rooms. After removing the access panel to the attic, I heard a very dangerous sound.
The chirping of birds in an attic is a very, very, very bad thing. That's what I heard when I contorted myself into the attic. Loud, ceaseless chirping. I then proceeded to the source of the chirping. I lifted up a piece of Pink Panther insulation to find a bird's nest - complete with five tiny birds.
There is a God, and He looks after drunks, old ladies, and new homeowners crawling through attics at 6:30 on a Sunday morning. How do I know this? The birds had not yet learned how to fly.
I took a plastic bag from a box and proceeded to pick up the young birds one by one (wearing a pair of thick leather gloves of course - beaks are sharp!) and stuff them in the bag.
"What are you doing?!?" The Ravishing Mrs. Cordeiro's head had poked up through the access panel.
"I'm getting rid of these birds!" My answer was short. I was busy stuffing birds in a bag.
"You're gonna kill those baby birds!" Her point was valid, but killing the birds was the least of my concerns.
"They won't suffocate in the time it takes for you to get them outside." Her concern for the birds was knocked down a peg when she had to handle the bag.
The birds were released, unharmed I might add, to the bush next to the front porch. From there we can only hope they avoided the neighbor's cat.
Never let it be said I never did anything for the welfare of small flightless birds.