Tuesday, February 7, 2017

A Postcard from the Past

I had forgotten all about this sketch from a long time ago. 

For months, sitting in the cage, on the hook attached to the bracket held up by the suction cup has been the (uneaten) block of suet for the birds outside my ground floor office window. I don't expect I'll see as many of them when/if I'm finally relocated to the fifth floor (I didn't get promoted, but some wag figured since I behave as if I were oxygen deprived, I may as well achieve altitude) but since I stopped filling the second feeder with seed because all they did was fight, bang against the window and makes a mess (often all at the same time), living large has been downsized. 

I still throw peanuts out for what was once an army of squirrels who've gotten fewer in number as the winter has gone on. I'm not sure if they book passage on tramp steamers for warmer climes, but they're not around here very much at the moment, though the one that does show up is ravenous in terms of appetite. 

It was just the other day I realized the suet was disappearing, especially after last weekend's cold snap, which may make sense since birds are cold-blooded and, I assume, need more fuel in the winter months, to keep on keeping on. Earlier in the week, the suet block had been reduced to about four beakfuls and I watched as a titmouse repeatedly strafed a woodpecker who was hanging on for dear life to the holder as his tormentor wheeled on wings and came back to divebomb him again and again.

From inside, safe and warm, it looked like the woodpecker was holding me responsible for this turn of events which guilted me into making sure to pack into my 'going to work' bag the new suet block my wife, one-half of Thelma and Louise, had taken out for me. Stumbling around by the dawn's early light, (and earlier than that, come to think of it), I managed to open the now-completely-empty holder, add the new block, and reposition it. 

Until about three minutes ago, when finally one of those itty-bitty birds too numerous to count, decided to take a bite, not one bird went anywhere near the feeder. I looked out the window and saw the squirrel giving me that 'calculating the length of the nearest evergreen branch to the feeder, the distance between the two and the approximate length of the leap to close the distance, snag the suet and nothing but net...' look that can spell only trouble unless he answers to the name of Rocket J. And from what I've seen, he answers to no one. 

The best I can hope for this time around, with my apologies to Mitch Brenner, might be '...a pair of birds that are....just friendly.' (And maybe, bus their tray.)
-bill kenny

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