Sunday, June 15, 2014

Guest Blogger 6/15/2014

The Starling in the Stove

I hate to give the whole story away with the title, but I just love how it rolls off the tongue.

First, the sad news. I heard yesterday that one of my writing list members had died. She was my age, and died of congestive heart failure at home during the night. This has affected me deeply and I haven't yet figured out why. Perhaps it's because she was my own age and her death was unexpected. Perhaps it's because I had a link to her that is very real to me, even though it was only through silicon, silver, and fiber optics. Perhaps it's just the reminder that life can be fleeting and we should always be evaluating what truly is important.

Today, do me a favor and tell someone close to you how you feel about them. You never know when tomorrow may be too late.

Then, the good news. My aquarium guy brought me some new stuff. I have two new corals... and another fish. It's a starry blenny and I call it my Fraggle Fish, because it's got spuffs over its eyes like Red Fraggle. Never heard of the fish or fraggles? Here's the fish: and here's Red Fraggle:

You decide.

And last, the starling in the stove. Today when I got home I heard a noise. The scrabbling of tiny claws caught my attention and I tracked it down to the kitchen. And then to the area around the stove. And then to the area above the stove. And finally, to the fan/light assembly in the hood above my stove.

I thought it was a rat. Seriously, we have rat problems periodically and I figured one finally made it's way into (sort of) the house. As I stood there pondering, the scrabbling sound was repeated. I wrote FAN! on the board and waited for Harry to come home.

My poor husband showed up with a work buddy and that's exactly what I did: put them to work disassembling the hood to get to the rat caught in there. We were all three tense, expecting a small furry mammal to come streaking out of there as soon as we made a hole big enough. Cautiously the guys took off the grill, exposing the fan assembly. It didn't look very easy to get that off, so they opened the cupboard above the hood, where the piping goes. The contractor had boxed that in with, well, a box. Deciding to attack the problem from a different angle, the guys unscrewed the box. Gingerly they slid the wood sideways, getting a view into the area where the pipe actually is. Harry slammed the box shut. "It's a bird!"

Only in a house which once raised birds would you find a fully-grown male starling inadvertently camped out next to your stove hood pipe.

The guys attempted to capture the bird but it got past them, strafed Harry on the way by, and quickly rammed its head against the window glass of the back sliding door.

Undaunted and unshaken, it then tried ramming its head against the window seat windows. Harry captured it there and we let it loose outside.

Tomorrow I guess I call a fix-it guy to come stop up my fan vent on the roof. At least I know one bird who won't be coming down that way again.

Copyright 2014 Michelle Hakala


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