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Keep your eye on the sparrow

Little birds terrify me. They’re just so nervous and blinky all the time. They have to be plotting something.

The other day, I left the driver’s side window on my Jeep cracked open just a little bit so the interior wouldn’t seem quite so hot and stuffy at the end of the work day. Boy, was that a mistake.

When I got in the vehicle, as I was getting ready to turn the key, I could hear a strange little scratching noise coming from the back of the Jeep. At first, I just thought something had shifted when I plopped down on the seat. But I heard it again. I got this feeling that I was not alone.

Out of the corner of my left eye, I noticed the partially-cracked open driver’s side window. The blood drained from my face as soon as I realized that a bird had probably entered my four-wheel-drive sanctuary. Oh, the horror of it all.

I started to pay more attention to my surroundings. Evidently this frightful creature had been in the Jeep for a while. “How did I know this?” you may be asking yourself. I could tell by the amount of “material” that was covering the steering wheel, upholstery, window sills, floor mats, etc. … of my vehicle. The amount of “material” that is in the interior of a little bird’s stomach is really quite astounding. I mathematically can’t understand how a creature that can be measured in inches, can expel an amount of “material” that can be measured in square footage. I just don’t get it.

Without making any rapid movements, I reached for the door handle. I could feel his blinky eyes of death on the back of my neck. I could hear his razor-sharp talons scraping the interior of my hard-top. This savage demon definitely had the upper hand.

By the amount of “material” that I was looking at, it was hard to tell how large of a monster I was dealing with. A bead of sweat trailed down the side of my face as my hand landed on the door handle. Part of me wanted to just spin around in my seat and confront the beast face to face and physically throw it out the window. But this was no time for heroes.

Ever so slowly, I pulled the door latch back. Another bead of sweat formed and this time dripped off my nose. As the door inched open, I heard another scratch, but this time it sounded much more menacing. So I did what any grown man would do, I flung the door open, dove from my seat and rolled across the pebbly parking lot. I tasted freedom and it was good.

As I stood and brushed the dust from my Dockers, I kept eyeing the open-doored Jeep. Nothing had come out yet. This beast was crafty and persistent, two qualities that you don’t want in a mortal enemy.

Making my way toward the rear of the vehicle, I contemplated whether or not I should get the authorities involved, you know, like a game warden, a S.W.A.T. team or possibly SEAL Team 6. But no, being a full-grown adult, I decided to confront this terror on my own.

I snuck to the back of the Jeep. I swung open the back door like I was ripping off a band-aid, quickly with a shrieking little girl scream. I fully expected the brute to emerge from his lair. But it didn’t. I waited, And I waited. And then I waited some more. I tapped on the window. I even resorted to taunting the beast by nervously chanting “Here birdy, birdy!” Alas, nothing came out.

I was starting to think that maybe, just possibly, I had let my imagination get the better of me. Maybe I hadn’t really heard that horrible scratching noise. Maybe all of the “material” had been there a while and I just hadn’t noticed it. It was possible.

I was chuckling at myself for being so skittish as I opened the back hatch to further diminish my fears. It was then that winged-fury hit me in the armpit! The feathered-devil had been in there the whole time just waiting for me to let my guard down!

As I spun away, yelling “I’ve been hit!”, that mean little sparrow just flitted away. I could hear his evil chirp echo through the spring breeze as I slumped on top of my bumper letting my heart get back into its normal rhythm. As quickly as the battle had begun, it was over.

I have since recovered and have not experienced any lasting trauma from the incident except for waking in a cold sweat in the middle of the night with an occasional parking lot flashback. It has been a long road to recovery.

And as I look back on that tragic day, I think it’s a wonder that somehow, my Dockers and I didn’t experience any of my own “material-handling” issues.

You can contact Wallace at gwallace@bcrnews.com. You can follow him on his blog at http://gregwallaceink.blogspot.com.

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