The Disappearing Bird
A Postal Adventure
By James Robert Smith
Having just completed walking a loop, I was sitting in my postal vehicle, taking a breather and getting ready to take my lunch break. My vehicle was under a small tree, in the shade and I was looking down toward a cul-de-sac. After a little while, I noticed that there was a motion to my left, under a carport--a motion that kept repeating. Directing my attention toward it, I saw a small brown bird that seemed to fall from the door of a large blue sedan parked there.
At first, I thought the bird was flying into the raised window of the car, but actually he was trying to perch on the car and was fluttering to the ground each time. My second thought was that he might be injured, but if that were so, how was he repeatedly flying back up to the car each time he “fell”?
After watching this little bird for a minute longer, I saw what was going on.
He was landing on the door, finding some purchase there, so that he could confront his reflection in the side-view mirror mounted on the door. He would land and look his reflection in the eye. After a bit of this face-off, he would launch himself at the mirror, flutter his wings as he encountered the unexpected obstruction (not a bird!) and then land atop the mirror. There, he would stand a second looking for all the world like a completely confused individual.
“WHERE ARE YOU?!! WHAT IS GOING ON HERE?!! I KNOW YOU ARE HERE!!! WHERE ARE YOU?!!”
I imagined him screaming like madman.
He would land again on the door, sometimes losing his footing and fluttering to the ground (the movement that first attracted me to the sight). Eventually, he would find a solid perch, face his taunting opponent yet again and launch himself at this vanishing bastard.
And there he would be on the top of the mirror.
“WHERE ARE YOU??!! I SHOULD BE STANDING ON YOUR HEAD, BUT I’M NOT!!! WHERE ARE YOU??!! HOW ARE YOU DOING THIS??!!” (The madman’s voice again.)
This went on for the duration of my lunch break in the bright, warm sun (30 minutes). I started my engine and drove away, with the little Madman Bird (I don’t know what he was, but that’s what I’ll call the next one I see) still trying to find his elusive antagonist.