I'M SO OLD THAT IF I DIDN'T HAVE MY SON ANDREW, I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE NEVER SEEN A SINGLE EPISODE OF SESAME STREET.
It seems everyone likes birds. Maybe its because so many of them symbolize positivism. For instance, eagles represent patriotism and freedom, the dove is equated with peace and love while storks make us think of the miracle of birth.
In a similar way, some of my readers have become attached to specific varieties of avians like: LACC is obsessed by penguins, GLEN likes ducks and FRIO loves parrots.
In a conversation with ZEKA, we traded tales of bird mishaps. I told him when I lived in Las Vegas, of the short lives of my pet finches, Rocky and Rollo (Rock & Roll). I also mentioned the time when my son Andrew and I watched an idiotic cardinal repeatedly fly (crash) into our front window.
ZEKA added some of his stories. Then I mentioned the time a woodpecker, at 6:00AM started wailing away on a metal plate at the top of my chimney. From there I shared my real-life encounter that could have ended up being a sequel to Alfred Hitchcock's movie, "THE BIRDS." In that one, it was just after dawn, in Tusayan, Arizona (the town adjacent to the Grand Canyon), that I power-walked past an uncountable amount of menacing ravens. As if poised to attack me, these huge black birds were perched on and near a row of dumpsters with an equal sized flock of them inside the containers foraging for food.
A robin built a nest in the tree outside ZEKA'S bedroom. Barely two feet away, separated by only the window, he and his wife watched the daily construction. Soon a second robin appeared. At that point the ZEKA'S caught glimpses of the familiar blue eggs under Mrs. Robin.
The ZEKA'S personal reality show progressed as the hatchlings cracked through their shells. It gave them great joy to watch the feedings and follow the babies constant maturation. When they were strong, the youngsters flew away. The seasons changed and the nest was abandoned.
The circle of life continued the next the spring. Presumably the same robin repeated the process. Again, the ZEKA'S stayed tuned to their bedroom window nature show.
One day, ZEKA was getting ready for work at a time when the chicks were almost ready to start flight training. He heard a harsh commotion outside and gaped in horror through the window. A large crow was ripping one of the baby birds out of the nest. Powerless, ZEKA and the adult robin watched the hunter carry its in-flight meal to the top of a telephone poll. The villain scraped at the victim with its talons until the carnage was interrupted by a rival crow. Having "lost his lunch," to the newcomer, the empty-handed first crow dive-bombed back to the nest and wrested the other innocent fledgling away!
While I was still in shock from that story ZEKA said he had another about Kiwi, his cockateil. Kiwi had a bird-house (cage) but had the freedom to fly around the living room. He was such a good pet, that it would spent hours perched on ZEKA'S shoulder taking love nibbles of his ear while they watched TV together.
Thankful for his second chance with Kiwi, ZEKA wasn't bothered by the expense to recover his buddy. The strong bond with the bird intensified so much that occasionally, ZEKA brought the cage into the backyard. This way, the bird could get fresh air and keep him company while he did chores. Unfortunately for everyone involved, ZEKA got sidetracked by his collection of sea glass and Kiwi was left outside over night.
In the morning, the empty cage was perfectly intact...but with the door open. A trail of white feathers led Sherlock ZEKA to their pool. In the crystal clear water, the emaciated remains of his cherished pet were discovered. Judging by the eye-witness accounts of an angst-filled ant colony, a teeth-chattering chipmunk and a pair of squirmy squirrels, the assailant was wearing a burglar's mask and a Davy Crockett hat.