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Two birds in a bag beat one in a flue

Surely you’ve seen Alfred Hitchcock’s classic movie ‘The Birds.’ You know, where flocks of birds get into peoples’ houses through their chimneys.
Well, it can happen, and it did, well, almost. Well, not quite a flock, but two.
On Tuesday evening, my son, Ryan, came into the house after he had an accident on an adult-size Big Wheel. As I was cleaning his badly gouged elbow and his back that was skinned from his shoulder to his waist, he mentioned there was a bird in the chimney. Of course, I wondered if he had hit his head too.
But then, I heard it too. There was a bird in the chimney chirping and flapping its wings. It was like something trying to scratch its way out of the wall as it was singing. Definitely something from a sci-fi film.
Anyway, since we don’t use our fireplace my desk blocks the opening. To get to the bird, everything would have to be moved.
I started with the drawers from the desk and cleaned off the top; then Ryan and I lifted the desk down and opened the glass doors to the fireplace. Looking inside this dark hole, we notice there was no way a bird or anything could come down because we had blocked it off a few years ago. But we knew there was a bird in there because we could hear it!
Not being able to get to it from there, we moved everything back into place. After a while, it was quiet. We thought the bird had gotten out, right? Wrong. About 30 minutes later we heard it again and followed the sound. It was coming from the wall at the side of the fireplace. There was a vent, but I couldn’t get to it at the time because the freezer was there as well as a three-drawer chest and other items, and the night was getting late.
Not knowing how we were going to save the bird, we had to come up with a solution. It was now about 11 p.m. Ryan had school the next day so he had to get ready for bed. I didn’t have to work the next day, and I knew I was going to be up all night trying to figure a way to free this little bird. What a night!
Finally, about 3 a.m., it hit me. I would get up early and move the freezer and then pry the vent lid off if I had to. The little ‘guy’ was going to live if he was still in there in the morning.
My husband was up getting ready to leave for work about 5 a.m. I told him I was going to pry the vent off if I had to and save the bird. He looked at me like I was crazy. I told him he might have to get glue or something to seal it up again; that no matter what, I was going to get the bird out. (I didn’t know then the vent was screwed into the brick.)
Finally it was 7 a.m. I woke Ryan up to get ready for school. I usually go back to bed on Wednesday mornings, my only day off, but not this morning. I had a lot to do, including dog-sitting.
When I returned home from picking up the dog, I waited a few minutes and listened to hear if the bird was still in there. Nothing. Then after a few minutes, I heard it ‘ chirping and fluttering its wings wildly. Ryan was gone now, so I had to do this by myself. ‘No problem,’ I said, ‘Here I go.’
I moved the freezer, the cutting boards and everything around the wall. I found a screwdriver and unscrewed the vent. I said to myself, ‘There’s a fan connected to the vent. Oh great, now what.’
To top it off, the bird was gone, nowhere in sight. Great, it must have gotten out the same way it got in.
So I put the vent back on, moved the freezer and everything else back in place. I don’t know if I was disappointed, but I figured the bird must have gotten out because there was no evidence of it being there except a piece of bread I had stuffed through the vent before going to bed the evening before.
Then about 10 o’clock as I was getting ready to take Jake for a walk, I heard the bird. ‘Not this again,’ I said out loud. Jake just looked at me like I was crazy. But, hey I’m ready now, and I know what to do.
I went through the whole process again ‘ moved the freezer and everything else around it and unscrewed the vent. Then it dawned on me: I can’t just grab the bird and take it outside. I got a trash bag and taped it around the hole as the vent with the attached fan lay dangling. No bird in sight. So I went ahead and leashed Jake and took him outside. About 10 steps out the door, I heard the bag rustling. I ran the dog inside the house.
Sure enough I’d bagged a bird.
I took the bag with the bird outside and opened the top so it would fly out. The bird sat there a moment, looked at me, then flew away. It was a fat, pretty-faced little thing. It flew over the house and circled three times with two other birds. I went back inside and moved everything back into place.
I was feeling pretty good by then. I’d saved the bird’s life. Not many people can say that!
That evening I explained to my family how I had saved the bird. They couldn’t believe I had gotten the bird to fly into the trash bag and was able to carry it outside and let it loose.
Later in the day, while we were eating dinner, we heard the sound again. Oh, no, not again, not two in one day. Sure enough, there was another bird in the same wall. What were the chances. At least I could to prove to the family how I’d bagged the bird.
This time my oldest son, Wes, helped move everything, got the screwdriver and began the process all over again. He couldn’t believe I was taping the bag to the wall and that the bird would fly into the bag. ‘No way, Mom,’ he said. Then Ryan and my husband both got on the band wagon and began teasing me about it.
But, just as they were really getting going on the teasing, the bag started making a noise. ‘Hah,’ I said, ‘I’ve bagged another bird.’
With both boys in tow, I took the bagged bird outside, and sure enough it was not the same bird. It wasn’t as pretty, I said. They all got a laugh out of that. ‘Not the same bird!’ Ryan said. ‘Dad, Mom said it’s not the same bird because it’s not as pretty as the other one.’ So, teasing again, they thought it was funny that I’d bagged two birds in one day and that I could tell them apart.
The moral of this story: If a bird can come down a chimney, then Santa Claus can too.
(In the meantime, my husband is going to find out where the birds are getting in and seal it up.)

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