Friday, May 06, 2011

IN THE SUMMERTIME

I guess it is almost summertime, though with the howling cold wind and torrential rains, it would be hard to prove that by the attitudes of most Central Indianans.  But you see, the thing is, wildlife, especially the birds, believe it is summer, and they have all returned to their old Indiana home.  

The finches, especially, seem a little put off by the weather.  The thistle socks have been filled half-a-dozen times for them in the past month, but the hardier birds, the robins and cardinals and doves, oh my, (you probably do not understand how funny that statement was if you are younger than 45 or so, but trust me, it was sort of funny), I have been forcing to hunt and fend for themselves.  It has rained so much that the worms are clustered almost on top of the ground to keep from drowning, so they are there for the munching, and even though the robins might be a little hateful about the fact that they have to work a little for their food while the others are hand fed, it isn't like I ignore them.  I have a worm bed out there for crying out loud!  Yes, you read correctly:  I actually nurture worms so the robins can have readily available food.  They think they are hunting, so they are maintaining that mentality for leaner times, and if you think for a second they are going hungry, think again.  The robins who live in my back yard are so fat that lifting off to avoid the wrath of Annie The Incredible Dachshund is a chore for them.  Annie has skinnied down.  The robins have fattened up. That makes for a hilarious situation when the chase is on.  

I am, however, feeling a little animosity almost exuding from the wingtips of the bigger, hardier ground birds, toward me and the gorgeous purple finches, American yellow finches, and the warblers who clutch to the socks and feast several times a day on expensive thistle.  I can, actually, prove that animosity. 

This morning, I went outside to clean out the bird bath because the doves, for some reason, think they need to use it as a bidet, when I heard a conversation between a fat, overfed, but ungrateful robin, and a fat, stumbling, drunken dove:

Robin:  Look, here she comes!  The bitch! (I know that is what was said because I have a loyal mockingbird who was sitting on my shoulder, translating for me, in that persnickity way only a mockingbird can - you know what I mean, I'm sure).

Dove:  Talk about a racist!  She doesn't even TRY to hide it!  Oh, and what's this??  She's putting out black oil sunflower seed!  

Robin:  She should be reported to the BSED! (Bird Species Equality Department).  That woman is trying to hand feed the WARBLERS now!  Hey, witchy woman, how about US, huh?  How about us starving robins who...

Dove:  (Laughing hysterically) Starving robins?  Look at you!  You can't even run fast enough to take off and fly because you're so fat!  

Robin:  Yes, I can, you stupid dove! (Robin tries and finds he is panting before ever reaching take-off speed).  Oh, my God!  What has she done to me???  It must be in the worms!  She is feeding the worms steroids!  I am going to go to a meeting tonight and turn her ass IN!

Well, upon hearing that they might all lose their free ride because of this one snotty, holier than thou robin, the other species called in reinforcements and surrounded the robin.  The Dove Mob squinted at him menacingly.  They looked deadly and wicked scary, to the robin, who found himself alone inside the circle consisting of even fatter and angrier-looking robins.  The Dove Mob boss moved forward.  Now, you have to understand that doves are pretty smart, and so this one whistled, and suddenly, the mockingbirds were out en force, dive bombing that poor robin, the cat who had wandered into the yard looking for an easy meal, and occasionally, Annie, the innocent, not really too sharp Dachshund, ruler of the queendom.  Three mockingbirds can sound like an army of every species in the world, and so, the circle began to break up, and the fat, holier than thou robin who had started this whole bruhaha, hung his head in shame and wandered back to the worm patch, which I had, during all this confusion, filled with fresh coffee grounds and stirred, bringing fat, gorgeous breakfast to the top of the ground.  

The last time I looked out the back door, the robin was holding up a little sign that said, "I'm sorry, Mommy," on it.  I said, "No worries, you!  Forget it.  Now, go do something nice for your family, like clean your nest without being asked, and I will see what I can do about maybe finding you a treat for tomorrow."

So, peace is restored among us, and the moral of the story is this:  Don't be pissy to the hand that feeds you, or before you complain that you are being left out of the feeding, look in the mirror, or you could look totally foolish and make many enemies.