Up until a few weeks ago I had a female cardinal who wanted to get into my house. Every day for the last three years she comes to my window. She sits in the hedge which is about four feet away from the house. Then she repeatedly tries to fly into the window. This is not a bird flying and seeing a window and thinking it's an opening, it is a bird who wants to come in. Her mate, all bright red and preening, sits next to her in the hedge and waits while she flies gently into the window. Dozens and dozens of times every day. She wants in. I have one of those see through bird feeders in the adjoining window. She eats there and he eats there. And then she tries for an hour or so to get in, before they'd disappear. I haven't seen them in a few weeks. How long do cardinals live in the wild, I wonder?

My grandmother raised canaries. She would go to the 5 and 10, sit by the big cages and wait till she heard one sing. Then she would buy that bird. She always had cages of them all over her old Victorian house. And she was able to breed them with no problems.

For many years you couldn't find a canary after that. Those cages filled with birds were gone. It seems a fatal disease in birds killed most of them off. It went rampant in the birds brought into our country, so we stopped importing them. Now they are making a comeback, local breeders have brought back the bird with a vengeance, only mired by the ridiculous need to have unusual colors in canaries. I can't figure out why it matters to people. So much so that breeders feed dangerous chemicals to the bird to make it orange or red, whatever color people want. It's about the singing for me, I just would rather have an old fashioned green canary that wasn't damaged by coloring, but could sing like a crooner.

I always wonder why humans feel the need to improve upon nature. Inbreeding animals until their very worst traits predominate. My dog Junior has allergies. Now this one is new to me. He can't eat chicken, it gives him the green apple dog trots. Who ever heart of a dog who couldn't eat chicken. Well these days it's quite common. We won't even discuss his hips and the trouble he is already having at barely seven. Now I mention my dog, because he loves to listen to and watch the canary. I have a huge cage 4'by 4' by 2', the bird, Chippy, can fly around and get all the exercise he needs. He will sit near the bottom of the cage and eye to eye with the dog, sing with the dog. Well Junior kind of howls, but they both think they are singing together. Very cute.

We need our animal and bird companions. They fill our hearts with their adoration. Their love and their antics endear them to us. That wild cardinal will never know human devotion. But my critters, they are so spoiled, some people should have it so good. They are treated like the wonderful creatures they are to me.
Hey, I should have it that good.

I will tell you this my dog gives me better comfort than my husband, go figure.


  1. Anonymous // August 2, 2008 at 2:40 PM  

    Mary, I remember those cages at the 5 and dime! In fact, I used to work in one that had birds. It also had a candy counter. Now don't get me started about the candy counter. Loved to visit it on our family's Saturday trips into town.

    The Scarlet Pumpernickel

  2. Nightingale // August 2, 2008 at 6:00 PM  

    I miss having animals around. Once I was the largest breeder of Andalusian horses in the Southeast. Now I am horseless. The story about the bird intrigued me. What if you let her in?

  3. Mary Ricksen // August 2, 2008 at 6:59 PM  

    I often wondered what would happen. Besides lots of bird doo doo.

    Remember in the 5 and dime the balloon if you bought a banana split? The price was inside the balloon.