Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Animal omens.

Whenever critters unexpectedly cross my path, I always consider it a good omen. Always.

Last night when I got home from work, it was after dark and about 12F actual degrees (windchill unreasonable). The first thing I noticed was Sevie acting weirder than usual, which is saying something. His meow was a little deeper and he was extra-twitchy. Then I noticed something had fallen off the TV, a small figurine. I thought I'd probably brushed the table on my way out that morning. When I saw some things knocked off my kitchen windowsill as well, though, I knew something was up. So I hunted around the house, finding nothing. Whatever it was, it must have found its way back out again.

After I had dinner and cleaned up, I finally sat down to watch TV at around 10pm. Within a couple of minutes, I thought I saw some movement in the periphery -- which, I hesitate to admit, I actually experience quite a lot in that house. (Oh the hauntings, the hauntings.) I got up to stick my head in my dressing room at which point a small bird flew straight at me. I was kind of expecting that, but it's funny how even knowing it's coming, I ducked down with a panic as though I were being shot at. The bird flew around the corner and straight into my work studio. At least that room has a door.

I closed him in and thought, hm, how does one catch a wild bird? I sat down on the sofa for a moment to consider my options. Within a minute, the bird simply walked out of the work studio and into the living room as if to say, "Okay, this has been fun, but could you just open a window now?" Of course as soon as I moved, it started flying around the house again. I grabbed a fleece jacket figuring maybe I could throw that on it, but before I even tried, I opened my front door and the big glass doorwall. When I followed the bird back into my dressing room, it whizzed past me and out the big door.

I'm a little disappointed I didn't get a chance to take a picture of it. I wanted to, and would have gotten my camera before opening the work studio door, but the bird thwarted the plan. (And obviously I don't know how to close doors.) It was small, but probably bigger than a common sparrow, in earthy colors with a blue band behind its eye.

After everyone was safe (where was Sevie through all of this?) and the house warmed back up, I started thinking about bird omens.

A scan through online searches always seems to come up with nothing but bad bad bad omens, for everything. I don't buy it. Since it's all myth and symbolism anyway, why not make up something good? So, here's the omen I made up, which I've decided this little bird in my home was to mean.

When surprised to find a bird in your dwelling
Pay heed to the omen this sign is foretelling.

No doom, no gloom, no luckless portent;
No reaper lurking with wicked intent.

Take heart that lost friendship will blossom anew,
For writ on its wings are a friend's thoughts of you.


  1. Anonymous14:02

    There was a story on This American Life's 2008 Poultry Slam about a bird getting in to a house and about the supposed omen suggested by such an occurrence. It is in act 2.

  2. I just listened to it, thank you. A bit heavy on the metaphysics of being maudlin, but a good story.


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