Crazy Bird Lady?

All around the cathedral, the saints and apostles
Look down as she sells her wares
Although you can’t see it, you know they are smiling
Each time someone shows that he cares — Mary Poppins

When I recently got a flat tire after hitting a chunk of wood the wrong way, I had my car towed to a repair shop for a replacement wheel.

But when I was notified the job was finished and they didn’t have anybody free to bring me my car, I had to scramble to find a ride.

I called a taxi, and that’s where the “fun” started.

The gal who arrived for me indicated I was to sit in front with her. Two burly guys were in the rear, silent as statues.

A small cardboard box with shredded papers was situated between me and the driver, and as I fastened my seatbelt, I heard chirping.

“What’s in the box?” I asked.

“Nothing. He’s in here,” she said and rolled up her shirt sleeve to reveal a BIRD!

Alive, squirming, and cheeping to beat the band!

“What is that thing?” I asked.

“This is C.J. He’s a starling. I found him and his sibling outside the Casey’s (a local convenience store). His brother wasn’t alive, but C.J. was. I waited about 30 minutes for his mama to show up, but when she didn’t come, I picked him up and have been taking care of him ever since.”

Okay, I thought. This is odd, but I don’t guess there’s any law against homing a wild baby bird and giving it a chance to live.

(Though having read about starlings, perhaps there should be?!)

The driver proceeded to tell me everything she’d learned from Google about starlings — their food of choice, their ability to mimic sounds, and so forth while C.J. (or Casey Junior) carried on a conversation of his own.

And he had a LOT to say, never stopping to take a breath the entire trip.

This, despite the driver’s assurances that “he loves to hear the sound of my voice and quiets right down.”

Sure, he does.

Now, I should probably admit that “loose” birds terrify me (thank you, Alfred Hitchcock). Birds belong outdoors, not tucked between some human’s arm and their clothing.

Even if C.J. had been happily chirping from the safety of his box, I’d have been uncomfortable.

After all, it’s one thing to toss food out for birds; it’s something else entirely to be cooped up in a moving vehicle mere inches from one!

27 thoughts on “Crazy Bird Lady?

  1. Debbie, what an interesting story! And it actually sounds like something my mother would have done, being that she was always rescuing animals (birds, squirrels, dogs, cats, etc.) that had been abandoned.

    I’m not a big fan a birds myself. However, I am utterly fascinated with crows and ravens because of how intelligent they are. Also, I find them beautiful.

    And I laughed at your reference to “Alfred Hitchcock” because it’s that movie that frightened the entire nation of birds. HA!

    Have a super Sunday, my friend! X

    • Your mom must have had a kind and generous heart, Ron, and I suspect you inherited that from her! I, too, love animals — but NOT birds in enclosed spaces. I can hardly go into stores that have birds perched at the cash register … even if I can see they’re chained!

      I’m fascinated by owls. All varieties. I find them mysterious and very wise in appearance. BUT I don’t want to see one confined to a cage. I think they’re at their best when they can fly free.

      Happy Sunday, my friend! xo

  2. Well, I’m not sure what you’d have thought about me taking the baby squirrel to work with me once he was independent enough to be cage-carried. There was a certain worker on the Port Aransas ferry who looked in the back seat of my car and said, “Uh. Lady. There’s a squirrel back there.” There certainly was.

    I always carry a big towel and a cardboard box in the trunk of my car. I usually come across injured turtles rather than birds, but I’ve toted a few birds, too. The only one I couldn’t handle was the pelican — but the policeman wasn’t willing to take that one on, either. We called our local ‘bird lady’ who captured it easily, since it was walking and not flying. It turned out it was blind in one eye. There’s a happy ending, though. It recovered, and is living at Moody Gardens in Galveston with others of its kind.

    • Squirrels are cute, Linda, but I don’t think I could have one as a “pet.” In fact, I’m sure of it — Monkey would never permit such a thing! Every squirrel he sees is treated to a game of chase. They’re lucky to be able to scamper up trees where Monkey can’t follow.

      I’m amazed at your animal-rescuing ability! Good for the critters, having somebody kind in their corner.

    • HaHa! You’re right, Dawn. I glanced at one of them, and he appeared pretty scruffy; the other — the one behind me — had a bad case of coughing and such, giving me pause to question whether he had a case of COVID. I couldn’t escape that taxi fast enough!

  3. Did you ever find out who the two guys in the back were?? Sounds like something out of a nightmare! I hate birds in enclosed spaces too, probably also because of Hitchcock, though my mother was scared of birds too, so she may have passed the fear on to me. I don’t think I’d have been able to stay in the car!

    • I assumed the two guys were either buddies of the driver, out for a ride in an air-conditioned vehicle for the day, or were going to be dropped off after me. I really didn’t like sharing a taxi with three strangers … and a BIRD! In fact, I’d considered taking Monkey along with me, but I’m glad I didn’t. I can imagine what he’d have done to that chirping bird!

  4. Debbie, that sounds a little on the strange side of things… but I’m with Laurie, at least it wasn’t something like a lizard! Hope you have a great week! Virginia

    • “Strange” is saying it kindly, Virginia. If I’d even suspected what awaited me, I’d have hitchhiked instead. (No, take that back — that might’ve been way worse!)

  5. Wow! I bet you were glad when that taxi ride was over! You never know what adventures a new day will bring your way. 🙂 I’ve heard so much about the Alfred Hitchcock bird movie that I decided long ago I would never watch it. I love birds but not inside a car! The two burly guys in the back seat would have given me pause, too.

    • The whole experience was creepy, Barbara. My son said they sounded like characters in a novel, and I retorted that you can’t make stuff like this up! Thankfully, it’s been a week now, and I feel okay so maybe the “Cougher” was just a smoker. Regardless, he didn’t have much business spreading his germs around an enclosed vehicle.

  6. I can’t imagine that keeping a bird up one’s sleeve is actually good for the bird! And if you’re driving a cab and want to bring your bird along, I think you should tell your rider all about it before he or she gets in your cab. As you say, not everyone is comfortable sharing space with a bird. (Personally, I’m fine with birds, but I would still worry about it being a huge distraction to the person who was driving the car!)

    • Thank you, Ann — me, too … to both your points. Driving is a full time job, one that requires every ounce of our attention. A fidgeting bird on one’s person is far too distracting!

  7. It takes all kinds to make this world go round. What an interesting adventure you had, Debbie! Having a bird up one’s sleeve while driving, that to me is not such a good idea and I think I would have requested the driver to stop to let me out. Anyways, good to know you arrived at your destination in one piece for here you are to tell the tale.

    • Looking back, I probably should have requested another driver, huh? I mean, how does one concentrate on driving, getting to locations one might not be familiar with, and making small talk … with a squirming bird up one’s sleeve?!?

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