Thankfully, Wombats Don’t Fly

barry currin, stories of a world gone mad, beaverdamusa.comI’m not sure why nature continues to poke me between the eyes with a stick.

It’s not like I’m some mountain man staving off bears, snaring rabid coyotes and combating a year-round blizzard.

I’m a mild-mannered town dweller.

Still, my run-ins with the animal and plant kingdom seem to be frequent.

While in the garage Saturday morning, I heard a faint fluttering noise coming from some utility shelves I mounted on the wall several years ago.

As I moved closer, it stopped, then started, then stopped again.

I scanned the shelves filled with half-empty oil cans, garden sprayers, stains, paints, and lots of other things I really need to toss.

I edged closer. I could hear it, then not. Then again, and so on.

Remember that scene in “Christmas Vacation” when the squirrel jumped out of the Christmas tree onto Clark?

I could see the headline now. “Tennessee Man Mauled by 60-pound Wombat.”

I didn’t think there was a wombat hiding behind my box of jumper cables, but why take a chance? The door was up, so whatever was in there would surely leave now that it had seen what it was up against.

Besides, I had work to do which involved the chainsaw. If that isn’t enough to scare a 60-pound wombat back to Australia, I don’t know what is.

An hour or so passed. I had been in and out of the garage several times and not heard the noise — but I wasn’t listening real closely for it. No sense borrowing trouble when my to-do list for the day was so long.

Then something caught my eye which simultaneously solved the mystery.

Perched on a bike helmet, which was hanging from the bike, which was hanging from a hook on the wall, sat a sparrow with a beak full of twigs.

I shooed him out, and I put the garage door down.

Then, I made a proclamation, which normally sets the forces of the universe in motion in the other direction.

In this instance, I proclaimed that we would keep the door down as much as possible to keep the sparrows from building a nest in the garage.

Kim already thinks we leave the door up too much anyway when we’re working in the yard, so she received my proclamation with open arms. I do think she considered wearing that bike helmet for protection against the suddenly-awakened forces of the universe, but she resisted.

The door would stay down. I had proclaimed it. This is an important fact to remember.

That afternoon and evening, we took the car in and out a couple of times.

We seemed to be bird free.

I went to bed with the knowledge I had single-handedly stopped a disaster before it started.

The next morning, I got up and went into the kitchen. The amount of light coming in from the garage didn’t look right.

Remember my proclamation? The universe did.

For maybe — maybe — the third time in the nearly 25 years we have lived in this house, we forgot to put the door down when we drove the car in the garage for the night. This never happens.

I opened the door to push the button to put it down.

A bird flew out ahead of it.

Another one grazed my head as it flew into the kitchen.

Now we have a bird in the kitchen.

This, of course, woke the dog who sleeps in a crate near the back door.

Chirpy landed on top of a corner cabinet, which sits near the door, and ironically has a top that looks like a bird house. It even has a wooden sparrow sitting on a perch. I honestly believe the real bird saw the wooden bird, and that’s why it didn’t fly across the room and land on the box of Triscuits. 

I won’t belabor the point. Between me, my broom and a cheering beagle, it didn’t take long for the bird to leave as quickly as it flew in.

I found the start-up nest and got rid of it. Then I put the door down.

And, that’s where it will stay. I have proclaimed it.

About Barry Currin

Barry tries to be funny and poignant, and he's usually satisfied when he succeeds with one or the other. (Being both is awesome. And sometimes that happens.) Email him:

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