Tuesday, October 15, 2013

An October Tale

Last week I finished a fascinating book titled Consider the Birds by Debbie Blue. The author describes several birds found in the Bible. It is much more than a treatise on birds as it delves into how people feel about various kinds of birds today as well as in biblical times. I spent last Wednesday afternoon reading the end of it in our sunny backroom, falling asleep in the middle of the last chapter. The last words I read were that large birds like ravens seldom fly into windows. A noise jarred me awake. A beautiful woodpecker had collided with a window on our deck. The timing of this incident gave me goosebumps.I had more goosebumps that night when I watched an episode of the Big Bang Theory about Sheldon trying to get rid of a bird on his windowsill.

Later that afternoon I thought about birds in my life. We lived a couple years in Williamsfield, a rural community in northeastern Ohio. One of my first memories is being surrounded by chickens when I was two years old.   One of those chickens pecked my hand. That probably gave me a few nightmares. Several years later my brother and I had chickenpox at the same time. If we did not scratch them, our mother promised us a canary. Bribery worked, because we had a little yellow canary for several years.

I spent many hours at the Jefferson Fair since my father was the Superintendent of the Fair. My acumen at the nickel pitch advanced as the years went by. First I won lots of dishes. But one year instead of dishes the prizes were pastel colored baby chickens. The animal cruelty people must have been looking the other way because now it seems like a terrible thing to do. I loved my baby chickens and treated them very well. When they got too big, they moved to my friend Brenda's house in the country.

When we first moved to Stow a chicken adopted us. We called her Claude. She lived in a doghouse in the front yard. We thought about taking her with us when we moved. Having Claude in the garage for an hour quickly changed out minds. We gave her to a neighbor which is probably where she came from in the first place.

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