It's a bleak day, and the weather is strange for this time of the year, even in Nebraska. The sky is an awful grey color, and it's easily below 60, with the slight wind and drizzle occurring outside. It's a stark difference from the 80 degree weather we had just a few days ago. I'm in my friend Jen's apartment, with the privilege of watching her two month old son, Jacob, for the day. After wandering around a bit while Jacob sleeps in his car seat on the bed in his parents' room, I walk back to the bedroom and stand in the doorway.
As I'm scanning the room, Jacob still sleeping soundly, I hear a rustle of noise behind me. I turn quickly, and examine my surroundings. There is a vent above the door, perhaps it was one of those noisy vents that occasionally make peculiar noises. Or it could be noisy neighbors. I made a mental note to look for a broom, should I be prompted to emulate the little old lady that no apartment dweller wanted to reside above, simply because even one small tiptoe would send a loud creak resonating throughout said elderly woman's apartment.
I pivoted on my foot, leaning backwards slightly and looked up only to discover what had really made the noise. On top of the door sat a small, green, love bird. I was definitely not expecting this. I slowly backed away from the bird, which stared down at me with its black, beady eyes, and stood in front of Jacob, whom, conveniently, was still sleeping. There was no telling what this bird was capable of, considering that it had appeared, literally, out of nowhere. I had no idea that Jen had a bird. Chuckling at my luck, or lack thereof, I shake my head and look towards the ceiling (or heavens, if you will), "Really God? Of all the things to go wrong today and you give me a bird? Is this some sort of covenant? A sick joke?"
Bending over slightly, so as not to give the bird any incentive to attack for making sudden movements, I pick up my phone, dial Jen's number, and press the phone to my ear.
"Hello?" she answers.
"Hi...it's Kate. Doyouguyshaveabird?" I say the last part as quietly and as rushed as I can, still in complete disbelief of the current predicament.
"She got out? Crap! Alright, well, Rick will have to come put her back in her cage. Is she bothering you?"
"Psh. No…no...not at all. Not yet," I reply.
"Alright, well, Rick should be there in just a minute."
I close my phone and wait. Again, I chuckle. I was being held hostage by a freaking love bird. Go figure. I sat on the edge of the bed, smoothing down the white duvet cover before picking up my book, going back to what I was doing before my short tour of the apartment. I kept a sharp eye on the bird, however, just in case if made any move for the infant. Just when I wasn't looking however, I heard the rustle and bustle of wings flapping, and felt a soft tapping on my head as it flew above my head.
'It just came at me!' I shout to no one in particular. Jacob stirred in his sleep, but after a smack of the lips, he fell back into his slumber. The two of us made quite the team.
I look up to see the bird clasping to the curtains with its menacing claws. It's watching me. And I'm watching it. Neither of us is moving. I turn my focus to my book occasionally, still glancing up to make sure the bird was hanging on the curtain.
For the next few minutes, every time I hear the flutter of wings, I lift my book and hide beneath it, prepared to swing at the damn winged creature if it came close to the sleeping baby. I feel trapped. Still, Jacob sleeps peacefully in his car seat, his tiny chest rising and falling with each breath, as he remains unfazed by the war waging around him.
I make plans to take Jacob into his room next door and close the door before the bird can follow us in. We'd be safe there. But before I can make any moves, the bird flies from the curtain back to perch on the bedroom door. It knows I'm trying to run. He chirps loudly, a war cry. He was making sure we didn't leave, not for anything.
I glare at the door, thinking bitterly, "I hate birds. They think they're so high and mighty with their wings. 'Ooh, look at me, look at me, I can fly!' Big whoop, I am not impressed, far from it."
I keep my hand on my hard covered book; as if to send a message to the bird saying, "Wanna try me?"
And so we sit like that until we heard the jingle of keys. Rick has arrived to save me. And Jacob, of course. Walking into the room, we, or rather, I must have been quite the site, sitting next to Jacob's car seat protectively on the bed, a book in hand, ready to strike, as I glare up at the door.
"Uh...she's not bothering you, is she?"
My face softens. "Oh no...of course not. We're just sitting here...watching TV..."
Rick catches the bird (or, I noticed that it easily jumped onto his out stretched hand obediently) and takes him into the next room to put her in her cage. Sighing, I lean back onto a pillow and whisper, "Crisis averted."