Saturday, June 9, 2012

When Nature Comes Knocking . . .

The robin's nest on our front porch
As some of you may know from my previous writing, I’m a huge nature person.  I love the sun, beautiful landscapes, plants, and animals . . . the whole works.  In a perfect world, I would stay outside all day, every day, and then sleep out under the stars.  The fresh air is so exhilarating and the beauty of the nature leaves happy and content!

However, when the indoors and outdoors clash it often means disaster!  Yesterday, my family and I were reminded of that very truth.  Most of yesterday was a normal day and passed with little event.

In the morning, my 5-year-old daughter and I found a bird’s nest on our front porch.  Thinking it was abandoned I considered knocking it down.  However, ever curious, I decided to use my cell phone to take a photo of the inside of the nest, just in case it broke it apart while removing it.  To my surprise and excitement, there were 3 beautiful blue eggs inside the nest.  I was overjoyed to share with my kids their first robin’s nest, but I warned them that we needed to keep our distance to avoid provoking the mother bird.

Later, in the evening, my 6-year-old son and I were in our dining room, getting ready to leave for some errands.  When suddenly we head a LOUD commotion behind us.  I jumped around and there was our cat Tigger running at full speed towards the living room.  Rather than wait for someone to open the screen door and let him in, he had jumped through the screen and kept running without skipping a beat.

Immediately, I noticed Tigger had something in his mouth.  Since he is a wonderful mouser, I thought perhaps it was a mouse or a mole.  As I got closer, though, I noticed it was pretty big and dark brown.  It certainly wasn’t a rodent.  As I continued chasing him into the living room, I decided no, it had to be a bird.  He had caught and killed a bird a couple weeks ago and had attempted to bring it into the house.

Yet, when I finally caught up with my pudgy kitty I realized in horror that it was a chipmunk--a VERY alive one at that!  My kids and I started yelling and screaming, trying to get Tigger to let the poor thing go.  But that only provoked Tigger to run back towards the back door, hoping to escape with his prize.  As he neared the back door, I all but pounced on top of Tigger, frantically telling my son to open the door.  I hoped to get our kitty to release the chipmunk and try to shoo the frighten creature out the back door.

I managed to get Tigger to let go by the grabbing the skin on the back of his neck.  However, instead of running out the door, the disoriented chipmunk ran back into the living room!  Almost immediately, Tigger broke free and recaptured the chipmunk . . . and once again, my children and I were chasing the cat all through the downstairs again!

Finally, in total desperation, I tackled Tigger in the living room and the chipmunk pop out of his mouth, flew through the air, and then scurried under our computer desk.  Not wanting to risk having the whole scenario repeat itself, I snatched up the very unhappy kitty and closed him in the basement.  Then I turned my attention to how in the world I was going to get a frightened chipmunk out of my house.

I told my kids to stay back because chipmunks bite and I didn’t want them to scare him enough to send him scurrying through the house again.  I crept up to the desk with a small paper waste basket and a shallow cardboard box (to use as a makeshift lid).  I was in position and ready to trap the chipmunk when out of nowhere my daughter came running over yelling, “Did you catch it, Mommy?!?!”

That was all it took to spook the chipmunk once more.  It shot out from under the desk like a thousand cats were on its heels.  Of course, that’s when my dog finally noticed, hey, there’s chipmunk in the house!!!  She took off after the poor critter, and they zigzagged all over the downstairs until the chipmunk disappeared, hopefully out the open back door.

We searched the house a little longer but could not find a trace of the chubby chipmunk.  Since we were running late, we decided to leave for our errands and then resume our search later.  Although all was quiet on the home front when we returned, at least with the chipmunk, my crazy evening was topped off with another surprise!

Forgetting all about the robin’s nest on the front porch because of the chipmunk chaos, I opened the front door to get the mail.  As I reached my hand into the mailbox, I heard fluttering of feathers and angry chirping.  Then, the next thing I know, I had an angry mother robin diving straight for my head!  She chased me around the front porch.  Miraculously, I made it to the front door, flung it open, and slammed it shut behind me--thankfully, with the bird outside, not inside!

Even I, the nature lover, was in total shock over such an insane evening.  It makes you think twice about wanting to live free in the open air, doesn’t?!  I know it did for me!

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