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Birds of a Feather Stick Together

November 22, 2008

*Warning: this entry is not for the faint at heart. But don’t worry: this post will not have pictures.

When someone tells you about all the joys of being a homeowner, you can believe them: it really is great to have your own place. But, know that they aren’t telling you the whole story, like when things go wrong. Or when things are horribly disgusting.

Like when you find a dead bird in your yard.

This morning, when I took Lucy out after her breakfast, I discovered in horror a terribly mangled dead bird upside down and against our side fence. I was immediately saddened, then grossed out, whereas Lucy was immediately interested and fascinated. Realizing that this could be very terrible for her to sniff (or eat, ick!!), I ushered her away from the site, only to find another place where a large mass of feathers were resting. I can only gather that the bird fell from one of our large Bradford Pears, then tried to fly a few feet, hit the fence, and passed away.

I went inside to fix breakfast and, when JD came into the kitchen, explained the situation. He was immediately grossed out, as was I. JD’s dad, who was in for a visit, suggested we use a shovel. Since we didn’t have one, I volunteered to go out and get one while the boys were at the football game. We would deal with the poor dead animal later.

After the game, it was time to face the inevitable: removing the bird from our yard. The bargaining began: “You do it: you’re the guy…” and “You do it: I don’t want to.” I realized quickly that it wasn’t fair for either one of us to have to do the chore alone. “Let’s do it together,” I suggested.

After some squirming, squealing and jumping around on both of our parts, we put on our coats and gloves, and grabbed the new shovel and the rake. I took the shovel and scooped it up, while JD stood very near, guiding me and encouraging me. Since I didn’t actually look at what I shoveled up, JD was there to help me out. He opened the fence, and we fled to beyond our property line into the big opening.

“Dump it.”

“But, what if the Schenkels’ (our neighbors’) kids see it?”

“Ok, let’s go to the woods.”

And, off we speed-walked to the woods, careful not to tip the shovel of death.

I kicked the bird off into the woods, beyond the brush where I disposed my earlier yard project, and jumped around squeamishly. Whew, it was over.

“Hey, look at our house,” JD said. “It looks so cool from here.”

I agreed, and that was the highlight of the chore.

Other not so notable highlights included JD’s sweet comment, “You’ve got some bird on your pants…” (thank goodness he was joking), having to rake up the many gray feathers onto the shovel, and checking the site of the accident to check for any, er, body parts.

I don’t get very philosophical on this blog intentionally: I don’t have many deep thoughts, I can’t always articulate my insights, and my life is just not that hard. But, this little experience did teach me a few things. One, believe your husband when he said you “got” the head of the dead bird five feet away on the end of your shovel. Two, rakes don’t do a good job gathering feathers. And, finally and most importantly, JD and I are in this together, and it’s nice to have him by my side.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 23, 2008 2:57 pm

    What a touching story! You two are a great team. :) And for the record, I happen to know that you have a great many wonderfully deep thoughts. You’re just one of those rare people who is simultaneously deep and humble, and that’s just darn lovable. Great blog, keep up the good work! :)

    p.s. Toro lawnmowers, huh? Cranking? I have so much to learn!


  1. This Young House « Kate Schmate

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