Wednesday, April 20, 2011

No Fear

Sparrows are really fearless little creatures.
It's a lovely day today, so I am again perched outside Chik-Fil-A, and there are sparrows and robins literally everywhere. I don't think I've ever been as close to a bird as I was just now. I've been luring them closer by dropping tiny pieces of biscuit from my breakfast onto the ground and watching in delight as they come snap it up. I'm also sitting right next to a wall, so some of them have come and sat very close to my head, which gave me a chance to observe how dirty the feathers are, but also to note how tiny their bodies are and how they quiver when they breathe. It was lots of fun to feed them. One smaller bird (probably a female?) kept chirping at the larger one to go pick up the bits I'd dropped but never got the courage to do so herself. I think that there are baby birdies somewhere, based on all the twittering. Which makes me wonder if these birds have been parents together for many seasons or not, and if birds are faithful to one mate forever or not, and how the birds and the squirrels share the food that gets dropped around campus.

Speaking of sharing, one of my favorite books as a child was "Tucker's Countryside", which is about a mouse from Times Square who saves a Connecticut meadow for his cricket friend. It's the sequel to "The Cricket in Times Square", which my Dad read to me in first grade. Part of the reason it was my favorite book was because it was one of the first "long" books that I read to myself. When I first read it, I didn't realize it was the sequel, so it was really fun and exciting to read the second book, especially 3 or 4 years later. Anyways, the point of bringing up Tucker's Countryside is that in that book, the creek floods and a robin shares his nest with a mouse and a cricket. I know that in real life the bird would eat the cricket, but I wonder if that kind of unspoken collaboration happens between mice and birds in real life. Or any animals. Does the mothering instinct that we portray so much in films, the friendly inter-species interaction, actually occur?

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