28 September 2011

The Bird

 Birds are cute when they look like this:

They are not cute during first-hour prep periods when they fly into your classroom window and then flutter around, buzzing up to the ceiling, flapping, flailing! I blurted out the most intelligent thing that came to mind, which happened to be, "Baugh!"

(This is my default sound effect. I once shrieked, "Baugh!" when I was filling my car with gas in Stanley, North Dakota. It was dark; the car was parked at the farthest possible gas pump from the store; I had to go inside to pay. As I walked back, I could feel that strange, creeping sensation one gets when they know they are being followed. I quickened my pace, only to feel it also getting faster, and when it brushed against my leg, I let out a shrill, "Baugh!" This, of course, is the perfect thing to yell at a predator--it deceives them into thinking that you're not frightened, only German. Of course, then I looked down and saw a friendly black dog...and, ten feet behind, his attractive owner. Welcome to my life.)

So I yelled, "Baugh!" before clapping my hand over my mouth in case next door's math class heard me. In a lower voice, I cried, "Caitlin! Caitlin!" She was sitting in the third-floor kitchen and swiftly came to my aid as the bird tossed itself around the room.

We flung open the windows, hoping the bird would fling itself out. It knocked against the walls and windows some more, then disappeared. I thought it had fallen down beside my file cabinet, so we tiptoed around, checking behind shelves and desks in the fear that the bird would spring up from behind something. And then...it did! It must have flown out instead of falling, but then it flew back in, flitted around a bit, and left us to calm our racing hearts. Baugh!

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