The Brain-Dead Cardinal

Every time I go into or past the puppers’ room, I hear a steady thump . . . thump . . . thump. It started about a month ago, and it took me a while to figure out what the heck it was. There’s a tree right outside the windows, and a mentally-challenged cardinal lives there. He’s gorgeous but apparently dumber than dirt (which is why I think it’s a “he”). Over and over, all day long, he flies into the window glass, bounces back, takes a minute to recover, then does it again. And again.

Frankly, I figured he’d be dead after a week of it, but when I was in there a bit ago, there he was, banging that pretty head against the glass for at least the thousandth time. Just how stupid is he? I wonder. He can look through the branches and see daylight; he can see other birds flying in and out of the trees, but he just keeps hitting the window, never giving up, always dusting himself off and trying one more time.

Bet you think I”m going for an analogy here . . . how we authors are that cardinal, banging our heads against the publishers’ windows trying to get in. We know there are other, easier pursuits available; we can look through the branches and see the sky, the flowers, the trees where other birds flit, but we stay where we are, knocking ourselves silly. Okay, it didn’t work the last time, but maybe THIS time . . .

Nope. I’m just sharing with you what a putz that bird is. One of these days, with my camera handy, I’m going to open the window and the screen and see what happens when, instead of bouncing off the glass, he flies into the room. With the puppers. I bet there’ll be birdsh*t everywhere.

Come to think of it, it does remind me of the publishing biz. Sometimes you kill brain cells. Sometimes you get knocked off your feet.

And, even if you do make it through the window, sometimes all you get for your effort is sh*t.

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9 thoughts on “The Brain-Dead Cardinal

  1. I’ll see that “amen” and raise you a hallelujah ! There are days I know EXACTLY how that bird feels!!

    You might look in the window from his perspective and see what he sees that is making him fly into the window repeatedly. He has to see something attractive to make him do it over and over.

    Just like we see something attractive at the end of all our head-butting. Right? It’s out there, right? In there? Anyone? Buehller?

  2. In the church where I grew up, an “amen” and “hallelujah” were usually followed by a little dancing in the aisles. Since it’s way too early (and I’m way too sober) to dance, I’ll just have to stay in my seat. 🙂

    Louisa, you may have solved it. The only thing in that room is the kennels for four of the dogs, PLUS an artificial Christmas tree standing in the corner nearest the window. Maybe he’s thinking it’s a step up from the ice-storm-damaged tree he’s living in now.

    And CONGRATULATIONS on your Golden Heart final!!!! That is so cool. Are you going to National?

  3. You know you could have some fun with this brain-dead cardinal. It could be the beginning of a funny romance. Two neigbors pass each other everyday. Think each other’s hot but never do anything about it. Then one day, a bird gets into her house. Damsel in distress needs the hot hero to help get the brain-dead cardinal out of the house…go from there… LOL. Think of the possibilities! (and this is why I’m not published yet!) 🙂

  4. Thanks, Marilyn! I am still a bit dazed and amazed by it. There are moments I resemble your cardinal buddy. I think you’ve nailed it. I’ll be that tree looks like heaven to that poor cardinal. See, sometimes you pound your head against the glass and nobody knows why, but if YOU do, then its okay!

    I am having a great week. I found out tonight that the sex scene from The Raven’s Heart that I entered in the Between the Sheets contest is a finalist ! I keep thinking I’m going to wake up and find out this whole week has been a pepperoni pizza induced dream!

    Still, lets hear it for sex scenes written by 50 year old widows from Alabama!

  5. Okay, now I want to pour some science on the brain dead Cardinal discussion. Some of the major cities are changing their lighting code for tall buildings to include up-lights at night. Apparently, something about the glass ‘attracts’ the birds, but if it is lit differently, then they avoid hitting the buildings. Some animal rights activists are pretty steamed about the numbers of birds dying as the cities in their migration paths get larger.

    So, you might try a small uplight below that window for a week and see if it changes your brain dead bird’s actions.

    But the metaphor for the publishing business is too good to pass up. spw

  6. You always know such interesting stuff, Sandee. I’ll give the light a try and see if he’s got enough brain cells still functioning to change his flight path.

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