Birds

I had a pet robin when I was a kid. 

I awoke early this morning, the day after my first 18 mile run. My husband kicked my foot this morning at 4:13 AM. Kind of like after you have a c section and you get a bear hug or have your in grown toenail removed and stub your toe. Ok, it wasn’t that bad and I wasn’t sore at all. But I couldn’t go back to sleep. I started thinking about the birds…

I have a love hate relationship with birds. When I was young, we had a band of wild, swooping swallows by our house. They always build nests over the lights on the front door that we never used. The newspaper my dad wadded up over those lights never kept them away. One day they were particularly wild after my dad knocked down a nest and a bird flew straight into my stomach. They dive bombed my cats too, although that was funny. 

As a runner, birds freak me out. They fly next to my head and I can hear their little wings flapping. Now I run by the birds with my hands in the air like I won the Olympics. Waving my arms in the air so I don’t hear their whisperings. At least my head is safe. 

Last summer I had a bird that would fly with me for a mile every run. I could see its shadow next to me on the pavement. It reminded me of my bird long ago. One summer when I was around ten, I had a pet robin. We had 2 cherry trees in the backyard. They produced tart cherries that no one ever ate or made into a pie. My dad had a habit of shooting birds that would go in those trees and eat the cherries. (In the future they put up nets to protect the uneaten cherries and later gave up altogether). One day my dad shot a robin. She had a nest with 3 baby birds in it. We rescued the  birds, but 2 were too little to survive. The strongest survived and became my constant companion. I fed him worms every day, but he never learned to fly. He would sit with me by the lake up north. Just a girl and her pet robin. Then fall came, school was starting and the worms would be scarce. My little brother decided to make a home for the bird to protect it and accidentally dropped one of the boards on him during construction. Years later I got a f(l)inch. He was always afraid of me and it wasn’t the same. 

I decided to run yesterday and not today because of torrential downpours and flash flooding that amounted to a few sprinkles. Now that is for the birds all right!

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