Every year, a new generation of the Angry Bird family arrives on my front porch and spends the whole spring with me. Whenever I come and go from my apartment, Mr. and Mrs. Angry Bird swoop down at me, whizzing past my head and screeching at me, desperate to defend the nest they’ve built above my front door.
I say it’s a “new generation” every spring, but it might actually be the same couple, year after year. I don’t know. If it’s the same two birds, they’re awfully dumb. It seems like they would remember that a big, fat, hairy man keeps waddling back and forth under their nest, sending them into fits of terror several times a day.
But I really shouldn’t make fun of them. I’m dumb too. Every year, I’m startled to see them building a new nest … and I’m startled when they attack me every time I set foot on my porch, as if I’m some intruder who doesn’t belong there. It seems like I would expect it by now.
This year, things are different. I noticed them assembling their new nest recently, piecing together straw, gobs of mud, and cigarette butts so they will have a place to rest when they’re not attacking me. Rather than shaking my head and shrugging helplessly, I grabbed a broom and started poking at it, tearing the stupid thing apart. (I wouldn’t feel right about shooting them or poisoning them. I don’t want them to die. I just want them to go somewhere else and take their drama with them.)
This afternoon, as I walked outside to get some exercise, the birds were on the porch, hopping around and talking to each other in shrill tones, trying to figure out what had happened to their nest-in-progress. In a way, I felt sad for them. But I mostly felt frustrated.
I think I have a long battle ahead of me.
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