The sun had just risen on a cold, crystal clear morning. My mates and I stopped for breakfast at one of our favorite spots serving a smorgasbord of thistle, suet, mealworms, peanut butter and, my personal favorite, black oil sunflower seeds.
After a posh breakfast, I was ready to warm up in the sunshine. I made a flourished circle around the feeders. Good day, chaps!
I spread my bright red wings and felt the wind at my back. What a brilliant morning! Not a cloud in the… WHAM! I hit the glass door hard. Lying on the ground, I saw my impeccably groomed feathers slowly flutter to the ground around me.
Bullocks. So this is how it ends. Bloody windows. Goodbye mates. Goodbye blue sky. Goodbye…wait a minute. I’m still alive!
I tried to move but couldn’t. My heart was beating fast. I couldn’t catch my breath, and I was freezing. My thoughts turned to the red-shouldered hawk we’d seen hanging around lately. And just yesterday, there were two red foxes in this very yard. I was a sitting duck, so to speak.
The lady came out of the house wrapped in a blanket. “Oh no,” she said. “You poor thing.” She knelt down to get a good look at me. I slowly blinked my eyes to let her know I wasn’t completely snookered just yet. She hurried back inside and watched me through the blasted window.
Suddenly, I felt myself rising into the air. Blimey! What’s happening here? This is highly unusual. I’m going up to heaven. Yep, that’s what’s happening. Goodbye beautiful world!
The next thing I knew I was lying on a soft blanket in a box inside a warm house. I couldn’t have fought it if I wanted to. The lady sat next to me on the floor. “You’re going to be fine. Just warm up and rest,” she said.
I heard her on the phone with her husband, the nice bloke who keeps our feeders filled. “But it’s really cold out,” she said emphatically. “Yes, it would be very silly to bring him in the house,” she said in agreement.
For the next hour or so she stayed with me. It was an odd scene. Me, a wild cardinal, in the kitchen of a woman who chatted as if she’d invited me over for tea. After a proper nap, I was starting to feel like my old self. My breathing returned to normal, and I could wiggle my feet. Looking directly in the lady’s eyes, I cocked my head in my trademark adorable manner.
“Well, look at you!” she said. “You sure are handsome,” commenting on my impressive scarlet crest, ink black markings and mesmerizing eyes. I puffed out my formidable chest and moved my wings a bit.
She gently lifted me, box and all, and set me outside on the porch. “Well Sir, let’s see if you’re ready to fly,” she said. I gently tested my wings.
I was gobsmacked! They work! My wings work! I’m going to live! Well, this day wasn’t complete rubbish after all.
I settled back on the soft blanket for a few seconds and looked at the lady.
Cheers, my lady! I’ll be seeing you.
With a tear in her eye, she said goodbye. I flew out of the box and showed off a bit by doing a fancy loop. I perched on the porch railing and looked at her. If I’d had a hat, I would have tipped it.
With a wink and a nod, I asked a cheeky favor. Please don’t clean your windows quite so well. §