Patti Soldavini

A Bird in The Bush

In dogs, humor, pets, weimaraners, writing on 07/03/2011 at 6:30 pm

"Could I be any more BORED today?"

I don’t know who’s more bored today, Olive or me. It’s been raining all day, truly the kind of grey, hazy summer day that most people living outside of New Jersey associate with New Jersey more often than they should. The only time we’ve been outside today is when Olive has had to drop brown trout. Increasingly, she is distracted from this biological need by the calling of another higher order need. The genetic need to capture the warm orange-breasted American Robin nesting in the middle of the purple-flowering Hydrangea bush in our front yard. Olive’s approach is the same every time. She makes a beeline for the bush but as we approach it she begins to slow down, lowering her body into a crouching position like a tiger that has just spotted an obese Peccary with four broken legs. She makes her move, scooting around to the side of the bush that the bird emerged from the last time we were out. Olive frantically starts looking for the bird, head bobbing up and down like a bobblehead doll, sure that it will fly out from this direction where she can just snatch it in mid-flight. And she’s half-right. Suddenly the elusive Robin shoots out the side of the bush right past Olive’s hard-at-work nose, cutting through the air like Zorro’s sword and coming to rest atop the clay-colored shed in our backyard. Far enough away from Olive’s quivering jaws, but close enough to keep an eye on the Tiffany blue eggs laying unmolested in the veiled nest. A few nearby Robins zip close to Olive from multiple directions as though they are performing strafing maneuvers. Probably relatives. Olive is momentarily stilled as she watches this display of bravado. This is a good moment to re-focus her on her bowels, so I lead Olive away from the scene of this domestic disturbance. As we walk away, Olive repeatedly cranes her neck behind her just to make sure she will not miss the bird’s return… and another opportunity to gobble an afternoon snack. “GO POTTY OLIVE. I THINK I SAW LIGHTNING. WE HAVE TO GET BACK INTO THE HOUSE BEFORE WE LIGHT UP THE NEIGHBORHOOD.” She must sense the tiniest bit of apprehension in my energy, so she goes quickly. As we make our way back inside, Olive makes one last desperate pass past the bush. Maybe she just wants scrambled eggs for dinner. I wonder though, do you think she’ll feel inadequate if this genetic need to catch birds is never fulfilled? And if a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, what the hell is a bird in the bush worth?

  1. Half of a bird in the hand.

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