A Birdie On My Window Sill

Jan 22, 2013 | 3 comments

Dining Room Window SillOur Oysterville world was white with frost yesterday morning when I went out to feed the chickens.  They slipped and slid a little as they waddled down the ramp from their coop toward their food and they waited impatiently while I added warm water to melt the ice in their ‘water’ container.  The girls aren’t crazy about cold weather, despite their fluffy, down-lined dresses.

As I opened the door on my way back into the house, something dark flew by me, into the laundry room and then through the open kitchen door.  “Oh oh!” was my less-than-intelligent hought.  About a month ago, we’d had an infestation of  large dark moths in the house so for an instant I thought they were “baaaack!”  But almost immediately I heard that tell-tale thumping against one of the dining room windows.

“Moths don’t thump.  And it’s not a bat,” I thought with relief.  “They head for dark corners and don’t endlessly knock their heads against the window panes.”

Little Black Bird.jpgSure enough.  On the window sill was a tiny black bird with a long, pointy bill. When I came into the room she hopped off the sill and down onto the shelf and looked at me in a very friendly way.

“I know it’s cold out there,” I said, “but you can handle it.  You really don’t belong inside.”  Then, I said, “I’m going to open the doors again and I want you to fly back outside.  Okay?”  She studied me intently and no sooner had I opened those doors to the frosty outdoors than out she flew!

I couldn’t help but think of Robert Louis Stevenson’s wonderful poem from A Child’s Garden of Verses:

A birdie with a yellow bill
Hopped upon my window sill,
Cocked his shining eye and said:
“Ain’t you ‘shamed, you sleepy-head!”

 Of course, ‘my’ birdie had a black bill and was on the inside window sill.  More importantly, I was the one giving her advice not the other way around.  But then, Robert Louis Stevenson had never been in Oysterville where we get up with the chickens!


  1. Chelsea Combs (Perrin/Short)

    I was back in elementary school picturing you reading to us. You always spoke so eloquently, and yet know how to command attention. I wasn’t the least bit surprised the bird followed your requests. 🙂

    • sydney

      Oh, Chelsea, what a lovely thing to say! I think of you often and hope that all is going well for you. Say “hi” to all of your family members and tell them that I miss them, too!

  2. Jo

    What a delightful tale! I also admired the picture from inside your house out the window. The church is beautifully framed by your window.


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