On Saturday, I restocked the bird feeder for the first time in some time because one of my friends was at the window singing and hoping for a peanut.
I think the neighborhood watched me as I snuck outside, because when I refilled the feeder, I soon heard singing, and when I returned inside and looked out the window, a chickadee was already there. He snagged his peanut and flew away. No sooner than he had left, another chickadee was there to take his place.
I decided to sit on the couch while I ate my breakfast so that we could eat together. More members of the chickadee gang came, as did the cardinals and the Bruces, who are a pair of blue jays who always travel together.
After a time, I heard little bird feed scratching on the windowsill, but I did not see a bird until a little tail and a small bird butt poked up for jut a few seconds before disappearing again.
“Ralphie?” I said. “Is that you?” And, it was.
Ralphie, my favorite bird, is a Carolina Wren, I think. He is about the size of one-and-a-half chickadees, has golden feathers, sings just because he can, and jumps around in spastic movements that confirm he is both a goofball and slightly crazy. Sometimes, he sits on his favorite pint-sized branch in the bush by the window and sings and watches me as I watch him.
I like to imagine that Ralphie stops by to say hello and tell me how his day is going before flying off to do whatever birds do when they’re not lurking around my house waiting for peanuts.