I had just put up the post To Kill A Mockingbird about two hours earlier when my husband comes flying up the stairs panting that a bird was stuck in our water heater and he couldn’t free it. What???? I ran downstairs to find a bird buried head first into a sticky platter that our pest control guy had placed on top of the tank to catch a mouse. The platter is so sticky, if you touched it you’d have trouble getting free. I don’t know what’s in this stuff, but I wanted a non-poisonous solution to the mouse problem. Remember, at the time I had a cat.
And speaking of cats, Bowtie rarely had the opportunity to kill a bird because she stayed mostly inside the lanai. A few times she snuck out of an open door, only to return an hour later with her tail between her legs and heading straight for her food bowl. But Cosmo, the male cat who preceded Bowtie, now he was a bird chaser! He was also a snake chaser, which is how he died.
But when I saw the poor bird, I panicked. I made a small tug with a gentle hand and she flailed about making a noise I’ve never heard come out of a bird. There was a spade within reach, and in one strike I cut her neck in two. The crunching sound brought my lunch into the back of my throat and we put the poor thing in a bag, platter and all, and then into the trash so that another animal would not get “stuck.”
And then it dawned on me. This first post, so few moments earlier in the day, about To Kill A Mockingbird, brought my action into focus. I’d just killed a bird. Was it a mockingbird?
So I had to rush out to the bag and open it to see what I had actually killed. The tail feathers were long and variegated between light and dark, and the coloring was right except for some brownish red on the underbelly that I couldn’t really see well. It seemed small for a mockingbird, but also small for a robin. But that’s the call I’m going to make. It has to be a robin. I couldn’t handle it being an actual mockingbird. Not now. Not today.