an old wives’ tale

Two days ago a bird inadvertently flew into the house. I left the back door open for a few hours because the weather in the morning was so fantastic. I tend to forget we live high enough on a hill that it puts us directly in the flight zone. If birds aren’t crashing into the windows, they are actively bobbing and weaving trying to avoid the house as they fly by.

My dog Cotton came to my side, nose poke and a whimper, to alert me that I needed to see something or he had to pee. Either way I needed to get up and follow. There was the bird, out of breath and desperately confused as to why the view was perfectly clear but an invisible force was preventing flying through it. The bird flapped and banged, then stopped to regroup, refusing to turn around to the open door it came in from.

It took a minute but I was able to coax the bird gently to simply turn around then off it flew. Besides a little poo on the window sill and a couple of feathers, no harm no fowl.

Thinking this encounter was cool, I sent a few emails off to a couple of my close friends including a picture of the bird.IMG_6503.PNG

One friend responded about an old wives’ tale that I was not familiar with. (my brain then had a full secret conversation: is an old wives’ tale an old tale a wife tells or a tale from an old wife?)

My friend explained:

“Old wives’ tale that a wild bird in the house was a foreshadowing of a family death.  When I was young, a sparrow flew into my grandma’s house and you should have heard the wailing and shouting about an upcoming death.  More than 20 members of my family were there and I honestly thought they were going to contact the mortuary and beginning making funeral arrangements, they were so sure a family death was imminent.”

But then she assures me no one died for like a long time after that!


My brain immediately pictures the ghost birds that slam into our windows.image


Then yesterday morning TWO birds were trapped in the living room, never mind the fact that the front and back doors were wide open. Nope, let’s flap and bang into the windows so hard we injure ourselves.

IMG_6592.PNG One bird flew out on it’s own. The other is the one I believe left blood drops on the window sill. I was able to ever so gently hold it long enough to aim it in the right direction and then it was gone.

My husband and I cleaned up the aftermath of poo and feathers and blood, then sat at the table shaking our heads over cups of coffee when another bird flew straight through the house! In through the front door, out the back.

In the past two days we have had three birds inside the house and a fly through.  Is there even a wives’ tale that covers this? Any wives’ tales about huge tarantulas on the front door? How about Coyotes wandering in your yard? Or Javelinas walking up the path?  Does Eight Turkey Vultures circling overhead mean anything to an old wife?


So if one bird in the house means death, then what we have goin’ on over here must mean death and destruction of epic proportions! Dinosaurs will die AGAIN! The destruction foreshadowed is that epic!



It just might mean if your doors and windows are open and you live up on a hill birds are going to fly into your house.


…but what fun is that?


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