A few years ago, I rescued an old birdbath from my Grandmother’s backyard. Dating back to the early 1900s, the bath had been sitting outside neglected for years and was in dire need of some tender loving care. Cosmetically speaking, it isn’t much to look at, but I have grown to love it and apparently – so do the birds!
Over the years, and I guess through word of beak, the once abandoned birdbath has now become somewhat of a party central for the bird community. They come from miles around to sit, bathe and share their feathery antidotes for hours on end. Some days there are so many birds out there laughing and carrying on, my grandmother’s old birdbath looks more like a Bird Jacuzzi. You can almost imagine them bringing along their little towels, flip-flops and sunglasses.
During the warm months, every day and sometimes twice a day – depending on the crowd – I go out and clean the dirty water from the birdbath. I then replace it with lovely fresh and clean sparkling water for their enjoyment. One day I was filling up the bath, and as always, there were a few birds waiting patiently on the branches. I was in mid process and had just stepped away to fill up my last container of water, when apparently one of the eager birds left me a little present. I am sure you can intuit that a little present loosely translates to bird droppings – okay, lets be blunt here – it was bird poop!
I came back to empty my last container full of fresh water into the Jacuzzi when I saw my little gift. As you can imagine, sounds of my exasperation permeated the air. Aargh! Are you guys serious? I immediately looked up into the pine tree and saw some little sparrows looking at me – one in particular looking as though he was embarrassed. I continued on with my tirade while looking at the little feathered culprit. I explained to him and his Jacuzzi buddies how unfair it was for me to continuously clean up after them – without any effort on their part. After all, I was trying to make this a nice place for them to hang out.
I was on a roll! I went on to explain, after years of my faithful service – coming out every day and cleaning up after them – I deserved a little bit of a break. Something needed to change! Staring up at the tree, more than likely looking like a loon, I went on with my litany of grievances. It was high time they start doing their part in keeping the prized recreation area clean. As of that moment forward I was declaring the birdbath a poop-free zone!
I couldn’t help but laugh at myself as I stood making my proclamation. Here I was standing under pine trees, going off on a tangent on some poor little birds – most of them probably innocent bird-standers if you know what I mean! Feeling a little bit guilty as though perhaps they didn’t deserve my verbal lashing, I finished pouring in the clean water and walked away so they could have their privacy.
I didn’t think too much more about my little rant that day or in the days that followed. A few weeks later I was pouring clean water into the birdbath when something suddenly donned on me. The birdbath had been clean for the past several weeks – no presents leftover from an all-dayer. Oh my gosh I thought to myself, then immediately burst out laughing. They heard me! The birds were actually listening to me that day and apparently passed the word on to all of their bird buddies.
I wasn’t even consciously trying to communicate with animals that day – but apparently, they were in communication with me! Hmmm just goes to show you never know when the animals are listening!
What is the moral in this story?
It isn’t always Big Brother you have to worry about – Big Bird is watching too! P:)