Three and twenty blackbirds flew through our backyard on Thursday without mishap. One more zoomed right into the blue horizon of the living room window, WHAM!, and knocked his fool self nearly unconscious.
Nurse Emma rushed to his assistance, standing guard over him while he gasped in shock. Soon the ambulance was called for, and the blackbird was deposited inside it to recuperate or die.
After about 30 minutes, he began flapping around in there, so it was determined that he would live and should be released.
However, all the flapping alerted Emma's cat, Cotton, to the bird's whereabouts. Peering expertly through the grate, Cotton determined that the bird fit her definition of a "dainty dish" and must surely die.
While Nathaniel and I watched in dismay, Emma disregarded Cotton's diagnosis and threw open the door. The bird whooshed out and landed in the nearest tree. Cotton streaked after it, and Emma raced after Cotton, causing my poor head to quickly jerk right, left, right as I tried to absorb the fast action.
I am sure about the cat's motivation. What I don't know is if Emma climbed the tree to save the bird or the cat. Most likely it was both.
Then Cotton, overcome by excess adrenalin, lost her footing, and for a few thrilling moments dangled chin-up fashion from a small branch, out of Emma's reach, as leaves and moss fluttered to the ground underneath her struggle.
Nathaniel, Emma, and I locked our gaze on Cotton. We forgot the bird. Suddenly, Cotton swung her body and recovered her footing on the branch. By this point, I think that she had forgotten the bird too. She actually hurried down the branch and into Emma's waiting arms.
We all breathed a sigh of relief when Emma handed Cotton to Nathaniel.
Cotton gave us her "what's all the fuss about" look as we returned to our routines, singing a song of sixpence.
Sing a song of sixpence a pocket full of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing,
Oh wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the king?
The king was in his counting house counting out his money,
The queen was in the parlour eating bread and honey
The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes,
When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose!