Miss Robin’s dilemma
There’s a thud coming from the dining room.
Every few seconds, I hear a dull bonk. I investigate, and find a robin flying time and again into the closed dining-room window, attempting to get to a small ornamental tree that is potted inside.
She’s going to hurt herself (bonk!).
I have to do something (thud!).
I fish around in my son’s room for construction paper and a crayon, then draw the scariest face I can. I pick red paper, then use black crayon to draw big, round owl-eyes and a jagged-tooth mouth. I think it looks pretty scary. I wouldn’t want to fly toward it. Then I tape it to the inside of the window to scare Miss Robin away.
And in a minute
Bonk! Miss Robin is not scared. She’s flying into the window. Thud.
“Put the tree outside,” my son says.
The tree is a good seven feet high, with roots sunk into a deep, large pot full of soil. I couldn’t move it an inch, even if it were being strafed by eagles.
Besides, that’s just what I need. A tropical ornamental, dying in the nightly chill of a mid-Atlantic spring. My fancy potted tree, with leaves turning brown and dropping. A potted indoor tree, left outside to become filled with bird poo.
Bonk. Thud. Will Miss Robin ever get tired?
The scary face on construction paper isn’t deterring her at all. Not for one slim second. She hits the window, bounces to the ground, remains stunned for a moment, then picks herself up to try again.
I go into the kitchen and get to work on a batch of cookies. I am distracting myself from Miss Robin and her obvious geography problem. She should be headed for a nice, tall, outdoor tree to build her nest. Her little bird brain is confused.
I’m cheating on the cookies, because I am using store-bought cookie dough. But when the double-chocolate chip cookies come out of the oven, hot and fresh, it really doesn’t matter that I didn’t measure flour and break eggs.
Break eggs. Oh, I should not think of that. Miss Robin hits the window again.
I scoop cookie dough from the plastic bucket and roll it between my hands. I make big cookies that will bake up soft and gooey. My house will smell like cookies baking. It will be so homey.
Poor bird. She has picked the wrong tree for her home. She has picked a tree on the other side of a glass window. Eventually she will exhaust herself, I hope. Bonk! Bonk! Bonk!
And then, silence. For a half a minute. For longer.
I go to the window. I will have a cleaning project ahead, to clear where Miss Robin has left a smear of pinfeathers stuck to the glass. But there is no other trace of her. Did she finally get a clue and move on? Did she figure out the unyielding nature of glass? Did she decide that my potted ornamental tree was not place to lay her eggs and raise her babies?
Or did she become too stunned to rise from the ground? Did she remain there, tiny heart beating, tiny neck broken? Did she become a meal for