My mom is deathly afraid of birds — well, anything that can fly. When I was about 8 years old, we went to the park to feed the geese, and she handed me a large bag of breadcrumbs.
Geese as tall as me were very happy to see that giant bag and called out to their friends, “free lunch!” About two minutes later, I was overrun and chased up onto a picnic bench. As I looked around for my mom to save me, I noticed her halfway across the park shaking and yelling at me. (She even had enough time to take a picture of me trying to fend off the geese!) I realized from that point on that if a bird were involved, my mom was not going to come to my rescue.
This week’s story from Joyce Kaplan of Pismo Beach made me think of my mom and the chaos that would have ensued if this had happened to her.
“For the past month, we have had a hawk nesting somewhere on our roof. We have looked and looked but have not been able to find the nest.
“Two babies were born, and a couple of weeks ago, I heard them screaming and screaming. They were obviously hungry, and their parents weren’t around.
“The other day, I saw them flying. They are so cute.
“Well, last Wednesday afternoon, our two cats were going crazy by our living-room fireplace. I went to see what the commotion was, and lo and behold, there was a baby hawk sitting on a log in the fireplace. I corralled the cats and put them in the bedroom and shut the door. Then I opened the outside door in the living room and the glass doors on the fireplace. The hawk didn’t move; he seemed very happy in the fireplace, where I couldn’t reach him.
“Finally, he decided to fly around the living room and landed on a bookcase. Next, he flew to the top of the cat’s gym, where I took his picture. Now, you have to remember that the door is open, but he’s not flying outside. Then he tried to get out by the picture window. It doesn’t open, but I guess it looked like it was open to him. He flapped his wings, and I ran into the kitchen and got a pair of oven mitts. When he closed his wings, up tightly, I grabbed him. I never heard screaming like that in my whole life. You would have thought I was trying to kill him, and I was holding very gently.
“I took him outside and opened my hands; he happily flew away. In the early evening, I saw him with a small mouse hanging from his beak. He looked very pleased with himself.
“What an exciting day that was.”
If you have a story or photos of your furry, feathered or scaly friend, please e-mail me at pettales@thetribune news.com or mail to Pet Tales, c/o The Tribune, P.O. Box 112, San Luis Obispo, CA 93406.