Friday, November 09, 2007
Just Minding My P's and Q's
I was sitting on the far right hand side of the church. Way, way over and pretty close to the back, and had a better view of the left-hand window than just about anyone. I saw the bird coming towards the window (it was a bright, red cardinal), and when it hit the window (a move I had not foreseen), I clutched at my throat, and gasped - loud enough to gain the attention of many of my fellow church-goers. Upon looking around, to see if other's reactions were as severe, I noticed that most people hadn't witness the Kamikaze-like event, and were passively and indifferently (indifferent to the fragile lives of birds, not to sermons) listening. Their hearts did not look effected by the incident, nor were their necks craned to watch the dazed bird disappear (disappear most likely from embarrassment). It was like watching some spectacular mishap in a play, and being the only one to have noticed it. I'm sure the person who first saw the actor who had killed himself on the set of "The Wizard of Oz" could not have been more shocked to see other things blithely maintained, as I was at that moment.
On the way home from church, I mentioned to Brian about the bird, and he said (in his usual calm way) that cardinals are very aggressive and territorial, and it was likely that the bird had seen his own reflection in the window and thought it was another bird. An assumption I am sure he regretted for at least one night as he was undoubtedly recovering from a concussion (I hope his mother woke him up every thirty minutes that first night).
I wonder what he was thinking as he flew away. My boss thought he might have been thinking something like, "I sure hope that hurt him as much as it hurt me." And I think that is the most likely thought. I doubt he thought that maybe he had run into a window. I have a hard time believing that a bird is anything but the most annoying kind of cheerfully optimistic. I think it would be too depressing to a bird to think they had striven to protect their family and their toil and suffering had been meaningless. So, I hope when he got home that afternoon, his mom smoothed down his feathers and played along (because moms always know better about things like that) and said something comforting like, "Aw, you poor, poor dear. I'm so glad you saved us from that nasty bird. Would you like some hot chocolate?"