library cards save lives

Funny story.

When I was about twelve years old, my mother, brother, and I went to visit my mother's sister who lives in a Chicago suburb. My aunt had to work a few days during our visit, one in particular that I remember to be sunny, warm day, just right for sitting outside on the front step. 

There we were, the four of us, my mom, brother, cousin, and I. As we sat on that front step, my mother enthralled in the pages of her latest library find, a brightly colored blue and green bird occupied a tree limb just in front of us. He caught our attention. My imaginative mind believed, and convinced the two younger boys, that if we whistled and held out our hands maybe the bird would come and sit with us on the steps. They obliged. We whistled. We held out our hands. We whistled some more. The bird came to us. Not quite in the peaceful, pleasant manner in which we imagined, but more like a bird intending to harm. 

We scattered. Mom went in the open garage while the boys ran to the neighbor's yard. I left the boys for the back yard and the shelter of the deck. Front the beckoning calls of my mother I could tell she was still terrified by the bird's presence. Who wouldn't be?! A woman- and child-attacking (perhaps eating, as we assumed its intentions were) bird is not to be viewed in the same realm as our tamed furry friends. I could hear by the boys shouts that they had returned to the front of the house and joined my mother in the garage. I looked up, quivering in fear. There he was, death-bird, circling above the roof looking for any signs of human weakness. I didn't hesitate, I ran. 

My lanky legs (thanks early, awkward growth spurt) allowed for a speedy pace. I remember hearing the jingling of my denim overalls as I curved the last corner and entered the garage. He was a brave one. He left his high perch above the roof to follow me from back to front of the house and into the garage. My mother cheered me on toward the safety of car storage. I was welcomed by my brother and cousin behind my mother's protection as I looked up to see the final battle. Bird versus mom. The bird seemingly picked up his pace as he passed oil spill over oil spill. My mother, in turn, reached for her only weapon. The two met with a thud. My mother's thick, hard-covered, Nora Roberts book claimed victory. Thank you New York State Public Library System, I live.