Fowl play highlights Christmas 2017


Patsy Pridgen


By Patsy Pridgen
Telegram Columnist

Sunday, December 31, 2017

I will remember Christmas 2017 as the year the birds flew in the house.

I had volunteered to host the mid-December Christmas party of my writers’ group, a band of kindred spirits who meet monthly to share what we’ve penned. A few minutes before 6 p.m. when the gathering was to start, I stepped out on the front porch to plug in my outdoor lights. Remembering that I hadn’t checked the mail for the day, I dashed down the driveway, in my haste leaving the front door ajar.

It was party time when I heard a strange fluttering sound coming from upstairs. I eased up the steps to investigate and discovered a small bird flitting in and out of bedrooms. Company was coming at any minute, and I was home alone with this bird in the house. My husband had gone hunting for the afternoon. I ran downstairs, opened the front door, and tried shooing my unwanted visitor out of the house, hoping I wouldn’t be attacked like Tippi Hedren in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.

The uninvited guest did not cooperate. When it flew into a bedroom and perched on a painting, I closed the door and dialed my husband’s cell. “Listen, there’s a bird shut up in the back bedroom upstairs, and I don’t have time to deal with it. See if you can open the bedroom window when you get home and shoo it out.”

I gave him enough time to say okay and hung up before he could ask any questions. The doorbell was ringing. When I opened the front door for the first wave of guests, a second bird, identical to the first, flew in, zooming past my company as it sailed upstairs. It was as if Bird #1 had sent out a distress call, and Bird #2 was the rescue squad.

I raced up the stairs and slammed another bedroom door on the second bird. Now there were two captive birds in two different rooms. I joined my guests downstairs, who, being creative people, had taken a bird flying past their heads in the foyer of someone’s home as a writer’s prompt.

In the hubbub of the party, I forgot to call my husband again and tell him there was a second bird corralled in the upstairs master bedroom. At one point, a guest informed me, “A man opened the front door and went straight upstairs. I guess that was your husband?”

I went to see whether he was battling the birds. Oh no. There he sat in the master bedroom, calmly eating his take-out, unaware that Bird #2 was perched on a curtain rod over his head.

Once the guests left, my husband and I managed to shoo both birds out the front door. I’m sure we looked like a slapstick comedy routine. My husband had a net, and I kept waving my arms, ready to stop, drop, and roll if a bird dove for my head.

No damage was done — to the house, the birds, and most importantly, me. I can only wonder what caused two birds to act so unnaturally, and what zany adventure awaits me in 2018.