Friday, September 25, 2009

just "venting"

With a full day of no kids ahead of me, and a sinus infection that persuades me not to go to the gym this morning, I sit down to the computer with a cup of Vanilla Chai with cream (real cream, because I'm not losing weight anyway) and anticipate a full day of writing and, quite possibly, napping. As my tea steeps, I bustle about getting things in place, so as to be undisturbed for the rest of my morning. I pull up, "tune" it to my George Winston station, and settle in.

As I boot up the computer, I hear a metal clanking outside my kitchen window that sounds as if it's coming from my driveway. There should not be metal noises coming from my driveway. I stop and listen for a second or two, conclude our neighbor must be home and getting ready to mow his yard, and go ahead and pull up my email. Then I hear it again.

It really sounds like it's closer than his yard, I think. But it has to be the lawn mower. Can't think of what else it could be. I go on reading. I hear it again. Finally curiosity gets the best of me, and I get up to look out the kitchen window. Nothing. I look out the back door. Nothing. I look out the kitchen window again. Nothing. Then, I hear it again. And I realize it's not coming from the kitchen window, it's coming from the kitchen.

I turn toward to noise, coming from above my refrigerator, to find a tiny beaked head sticking out from my kitchen vent into my kitchen. Then a little foot. Then a wing. Then the noise, again, and all appendages disappear. I freeze in shock, then, as its head appears again, realize I need to do something before I have a freaked out sparrow flying around my house, freaking out both myself and the cat.

But what do I do? As much as I like birds, I certainly don't like them that much that I want one flipping out and flapping in my face! I start to dial my husband at work, then realize he probably is not going to come back home at 9 AM to deal with this. I know that Beth, though on her way to the grocery, has just dropped her kids off at school near my house and I may be able to catch her before she's too far north to come back. I breathe a prayer, something like Dear God please let her answer her phone and come help me even though she is going to be even more freaked out than I am, and hit the button for her cell phone. God is merciful, as is Beth. Help is on the way.

But help to do WHAT? I don't know how to open the vent, nor do I want to open the vent. It is becoming apparent I need to call my husband. I speed dial the office and the new receptionist answers. "Good morning, Lorie! How are you today?"

"Um, I'm good, all except for this BIRD in my KITCHEN--is my husband there?"

She transfers me with an "Oh my!" and puts my husband on the line, who is less than enthusiastic about the issue. Of course, he's not the one watching the bird try to escape into the kitchen, where it's going to freak out and flap all over and, let's be honest, likely POOP all over everything. He says he can come home at lunch. That's not working for me. He instructs me to pull apart a cereal box and tape it up around the vent until he can come home. That, I can do.

Beth arrives, questioning what, exactly, the cat that sits at the front door to greet her is good for, if he can't deal with the bird in the vent. She reminds me she's terrified of animals. I remind her I'm aware of that, and assign her the task of handing me the tape.

I climb up on the chair, just seconds after the last escape attempt, and the bird goes still out of survival instinct. Yes, that's right, I soothe, you just be real still and I'll pretend I don't see you, okay? I manage, despite my height deficit, to finally get the box secured around the vent, and Beth goes on her merry grocery-shopping way.

All is eerily quiet now, with an occasional flutter or clank from above the fridge. (Why is "fridge" spelled with a "d" and "refrigerator" is not?) It is 9:45, and it will be a few hours before my husband comes to free the little critter, hopefully without my help, but most likely with. I regard the poor creature--stuck in a deep, dark place, unable to get help, light and open space on the other side, just out of reach. I know how this little bird feels. I want out, too.

But freedom is coming. Help is on the way.

As long as my attempt to keep it from escaping doesn't suffocate it in the meantime.

Sure is quiet up there now...

1 comment:

krista said...

George Winston...{sigh}