“Hey!” I barked, with a furious rap on the window. “Get out of there!”
The offender whirled back, black eyes pools of panic. He darted, limbs pumping, careening crazily from the carpet of green across the smooth concrete and into the safety of the neighbor’s yard.
He stared; I stared. Beady eyes afar calculated the risk of trespassing while my own narrowed eyes shot laser beams of warning A twitch of his nose, a flick of grey behind him and I knew: he was taunting me. This aggression will not stand.
You see, I had been assured, both by bright packaging and my own mother, that safflower seeds would prevent such an attack. But I had been betrayed, and with that betrayal rose a mighty flood of indignation. How dare he come into my yard and take from my beautiful plastic feeder that which was intended for God’s marvelous winged creatures, not the devil’s lurking vermin.
A sentinel at the front door, vigilant, ready to defend the food of the fluttering, I tensed. That villain, sweatered in grey, crept forth. First as if his life depended on the silent army crawl; then buoyed by my continued silence, the creep became a saunter, as if he had every right to approach the feeder. The insolence of this interloper had a (perhaps a bit over the top) level of fury rising up in me. But I bid my time.
His invasion nearly complete, only a few hops away from success, and I made my move. No mere rapping on the window with a harsh yell. Not this time: I was a warrior in action. I burst the front door open with a bang and a shriek, and launched myself across the lawn, an indignant fury of cozy pants and bedhead.
This time his retreat was further, and final, I thought, smug in my own success. I gathered my dignity and headed back inside, mildly surprised to see the gaping stares of my darling children and adoring husband. What?
Right then, I had a sudden flash, a memory of my ten year old self and a gaggle of cousins. Hanging around on Grandpa Fred and Grandma Jeanne’s back porch, we were arguing about who got to use the homemade stilts first. Without warning, the back door burst open with a bang and a curse; startled, we all gaped as my grandpa raced (pretty fast for an old guy, I thought) toward the squirrels who were mocking him at the bird feeder. He yelled and waved, and generally made an ass of himself.
Oh. My. God. I have become my grandfather. Good thing I don’t own a BB gun, or I would have really given my family something to worry about.
This post is inspired by the WordPress online course, Writing: Finding Everyday Inspiration (Day 3: One Word Inspiration: Home). Read the whole series here.