A regular C.S. Lewis of birds.
A pert brown bird is tapping on our sliding door, trying to get in.
A towhee, our neighbour says -- another has been trying to enter her
house too. This has gone on all week. The rapping begins just at dawn
and flutters far into dusk, and since this is solstice, and days are
long, it sometimes wakes us up before we are ready. Poe had it easy: a
one-night stand with a raven who nevermore chose to return. To look at
our towhee, you wouldn't think it was that stupid. In fact this one
strikes you as portly and intelligent a regular C.S. Lewis of birds. But
the patio stutter does not flag: the towhee rattles along, mindless as a
woodpecker. Sometimes I chase it off, or tie the dog up by the door, but
it always comes back. If I had a gun, would I shoot it? Do I have the
patience of the Dalai Lama? Our neighbour says they see their reflection
in the window, are doing their best to meet themselves, a failed
encounter of I and thou. I think it is envy: the towhees really do want
in, they want to forsake the friendly s kies, give up on the fabled
outdoor life. It's overrated, they have decided. The newspaper this
morning says that fossils of feathered dinosaurs have just been
discovered in China. Reptile gives way to bird, and now bird to housecat -- or even to human, homo domicilium. Evolution twitters on, seeing
itself through a glass, darkly.