For a few minutes tonight, my house had gone to the birds

We were wrapping up an evening with some friends, saying goodbye out by the driveway, when my wife steps onto the porch and says, “Honey, we left the front door open too long.”

“What is it?” I said.

“We let in a bird!”

Sure enough, there was the little robin, circling my living room and refusing to fly back out the way in which she had flown.  I’ve had some birds stow away indoors before, and you can usually coax one back out by shutting the curtains and turning out the lights — the bird will just fly toward the daylight outside.

But this was night time.  I shut off all the lights, and the little birdie alighted on a cabinet top, and settled right in.  So we turned the lights back on and she went back to circling the room.

My friend and I resorted to clapping.  Not sure where the idea came from, but it clicked and we gave it a shot. Every time we’d lure the bird close enough to an open doorway, she refused to fly low enough to escape.  Eventually, she landed in the office, just a foot or two from where I’m typing, and sat puffing for air.

My friend grabbed a towel.  I opened the window.  The little thing saw us coming — it cocked its head and took off.  It flew close enough to my chest that I was able to snag it with the bath towel and I tossed the winged fury out the window.

The heap landed in a dull thud.  I was sure I had killed it.

I reached a tentative hand down and pulled off the towel.  the little robin sprang away and flapped into the night, chirping away and vowing revenge.

We said goodbye to our friends, walked back inside, and breathed a sigh of relief that the little robin had not left any droppings we could find.  It was then we realized that we had locked the cats in the bedroom.  But I digress and neglect the real point of this little tale —

I caught a bird!

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