Inspiration can strike at the most unexpected of times, and in the most unexpected of ways.
This morning, as I went downstairs to check on the overnight activity on WritAnon, I passed by the door to my garage. The door chirped at me. This not being a normal occurrence, I paused, and sure enough, it chirped again.
Now, I’m not certain about other people’s houses, but doors tend not to chirp at my house (nor at any of the other places I’ve stayed), so I decided to investigate.
As I entered the garage, I discovered that the chirping was not coming from the door, but was actually coming from the other side of the garage…apparently from my grill. Having grilled chicken not too long ago, I wondered for a moment if the chicken’s spirit had come back to haunt me. Perhaps, like a phoenix, a chick had risen from the ashes.
In case I needed to flee quickly from an old chicken spirit (or a baby chick), I opened the garage door. Deciding an encounter with the spirit of a dead chicken was unlikely, I slowly continued over to the other side of the garage, and opened the hood of the grill (just in case)…it was indeed empty. However, the chirping stopped when I opened that hood, so I knew that I must be close to its source.
I moved everything away from that edge of the wall, but could not find the source of the chirping noise. Finally, I noticed that I’d leaned up an old board against one of the windows, and decided to move that–sure enough, a small bird desperately flapped its wings, trying in vain to escape through the (unfortunately for the bird) solid window. The poor thing had most likely been trapped in the garage all night.
The bird was a young house sparrow…so common in this area that the birds are immediately recognizable. In fact, outside my office, I have a birdhouse where these sparrows nest…and I deduced correctly (as I later found out) that this bird had originated from there.
I thought about giving the poor bird some time to find its way out, but knew that if I did that, I might end up being late for work…something that would not be beneficial from a financial perspective. Spotting a pair of sturdy leather gloves nearby, I decided to take matters (or the bird, as the case happened to be) into my own hands.
However, guessing that few would believe this story without some evidence, I first grabbed a camera. I snapped this shot just prior to attempting my capture of the bird.
Understandably, the bird was less than pleased when I approached. Being approximately 24 times bigger than something else is apparently an intimidation factor. I also get the feeling that the bird may have known the chicken, and feared a similar fate. Luckily for the bird, I generally buy my chicken at the store, and prefer my birds a bit larger before eating them.
The poor bird flapped its wings in a panic, trying to escape through the (still solid) window. I spoke soothing words to it, something along the lines of “Don’t panic. I’m here to help, not to eat you. You’ll be fine in a few moments.” For some reason, this didn’t seem to ease the bird’s concerns.
However, especially for a young bird, constantly flapping its wings quickly wore it out. Soon, I was able to pick it up (ever so gently) without protest–the poor bird was so tired that it could hardly stay awake. Or perhaps it hyperventilated and passed out…I’m not really an expert in these matters.
There I was, an unconscious bird in hand, as I walked outside. Almost immediately, I also noticed two birds (adult house sparrows) in a nearby bush, and thought about an old saying, but decided against speaking it aloud. The birds probably wouldn’t have gotten it anyhow.
Since I was now holding the bird in my hand, it occurred to me that this, too, might sound unbelievable to someone listening to the story. I decided to pull the camera out of my pocket and collect more photo evidence.
After a few moments of rest, the little bird started chirping again. The (presumed) mama bird immediately flew over, landing on the ground near my feet. I didn’t have a chance to catch this picture…the second I moved, she flew away. Still, I could tell she was less than pleased.
Since cats roam our neighborhood freely, I didn’t really feel like rescuing a bird only to have it immediately eaten by a cat. I allowed it to continue to rest for a few moments, then it finally decided to fly away. I saw it rejoin its mama bird, so I assume that all is now right with the world.
Use small acts of kindness as inspiration into your own stories. You never know when inspiration will chirp at your door.
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