Grit Blogs > Country at Heart

Wings and Feathers: Part 2

Country at HeartOther small birds lived in the area that may have been wrens, brown thrashers and sparrows. I can't prove that, but that's what my mind wants to believe. Whatever kinds of tiny birds they were, I just loved their singing and loud, high-pitched chirping. To this day, birdsong is one of my favorite sounds. So sweet and melodious. Who would not want to hear these mind-calming, soul relaxing, ear-soothing choruses?

Cardinals – For some reason, I think I saw a cardinal. Since we did not know its proper name, we called it a "red bird," and just in case they don't even live in (or visit) Arkansas, then I must have seen them in my sweet dreams.

Cardinal | Garcia 

Photo: Fotolia/Paul Garcia

Owls – There may have been owls in our neck of the woods, but I never saw them. However, we did talk and joke about them. We called them "hoot" owls. I guess that's because that's how they sound when they talk. And for some strange reason, everyone thought of this feathery creature as "a wise old owl." Not sure where that expression comes from, but we did use it a lot.

Owl | by Marti 

Photo: Fotolia/Pix by Marti

There is this joke about how to catch a bird. Here's how it goes. They told us that if we could throw salt on a bird's tail, then we could catch it. Ever heard that one? Ever tried it? By the time they got to the end of their sentence, they were already laughing, because they knew you can never get close enough to a bird to throw salt on its tail.

Now this feat may be possible in the city. That’s because when one walks on city sidewalks, depending on the shoes you’re wearing, you may be able to sneak up on a bird. In the country, though, that’s another story. With leaves, and grass, and twigs and sticks and rocks and whatever else is on the ground, it’s difficult to not make a sound. So, with all the noise around a bird, getting close enough to dash salt on its tail is next to impossible.

However, I was a little daredevil, and to my curious mind, it sounded simple enough to be possible, so I set out to prove the naysayers wrong. There I was tiptoeing around with a handful of white crystals. Every time, I saw a bird on the ground, I tried to sneak up on it and dash the salt on its tail. Eventually, I realized it is not nearly as easy as I thought, so after a long day of trying to capture my "bird-in-hand," I gave up. One thing I learned from that experience, though, is that birds either have ESP or a keen sense of hearing. In either, or both, cases, whatever they have works well for them. I never caught my bird, but I did see it laughing (at me) as it spread its wings and flew away.