Animal Moment #2
Did you ever have one of those days when whatever rules the Universe had are set aside in favor of any arrangement aimed at just ticking you off?
The day had started poorly, with a headache from sleeping in an awkward position and had gotten progressively worse. I couldn’t write, cable was out, nobody I knew or cared to see was in town, I hadn’t done laundry and I didn’t have food at hand.
I tugged on an ugly shirt, slammed a cap on my head, which just made my head throb even more and headed for Mr. Quik. I figured the walk would do me good. Until I stumbled and almost fell while getting into the elevator.
The campus was empty for Spring Break. The day was warm and windy, but the walk dragged on and on because of my headache.
I got to Mr. Quik and discovered that nothing I wanted was available. Not a thing. In an even fouler mood, I grabbed whatever was at hand, paid for it and ate it in the parking lot.
Walking back, I decided to just shut myself in and wait the day out. Something would come up and I’d find a way to finish my story. Writer’s block was for wimps and I would not accept being a wimp.
Nearing the Cafeteria, I peripherally noticed birds flying in circles. As I walked near the hedges, I heard chirping, sharp and fast. Glancing through the leaves, I saw a tiny chick caught about a foot off the ground. I looked up and near the top of the hedge, almost at eye-level, was a small nest. The chick had fallen. The birds kept circling.
Intent on not touching it, I found a small stubby branch and gently placed it beneath the chick. Slowly, over a period of minutes, I helped the chick climb through the brambly maze of the hedge until finally I was able to tilt the branch gently and place the chick in his nest.
The day had changed. My headache was gone. In a moment, the day’s ragged events seemed to make sense. I tossed the branch away and started walking back to the dorm.
Suddenly that inner voice you cannot ignore screamed DUCK! I crouched instantly. A bird hit me on the head hard enough to knock my cap off. It was like being hit with a curveball. Twice.
I grabbed my cap, stood up and shrieked at all the birds. I screamed that they would die if they messed with me again! I would shred their bodies and stomp the pieces into dust! Just try me again!
One of them did. I missed.
Then I saw a woman standing on the opposite sidewalk, staring at me like I was mad.
The birds kept circling, way out of reach. My head throbbed again, my throat hurt and I kept reliving my bird-swat miss. And that damn woman kept staring at me.