Home invasions from winged creatures

The Old Men of the Mountain met at the Chuck Wagon Restaurant in Princetown on Tuesday, Aug. 13, to have their weekly day or morning out. This scribe was not in attendance because of his once-a-year legal excuse; however, there was no assistant scribe in attendance so there will be no names at the bottom of this report.

In checking with a couple of OFs who were at the breakfast, the consensus of opinion was that the regular group of OFs was there. So, if any OFs tell those at home they were at the breakfast, they probably were.

Because this scribe was unable to listen in on current conversation (duh), this scribe will refer to his notes from previous breakfasts and clear out some conversations that took place at these earlier breakfasts — and there are enough of those notes left unreported, and some probably never will be; it is a family paper after all.

Bird seeks a larger house

Last week, we discussed the change of critters in the areas where many of the OFs live. This report is on strange critters that get into the house. Birds, bats, and snakes are some of the more off beat while mice and squirrels are more common trespassers.

One OF said he and his wife were coming home one evening and opened the back door to go in and a bird flew right by their shoulders and into the house. The OF said the bird started flying around the kitchen and the bird looked like it was just a sparrow of some sort. The OF and his wife tried to chase the bird out by leaving the door open and shooing the bird.

However, that tactic did not work

The OF said the bird made a couple of loops around the kitchen, ignoring the open door, and then it flew down the hall and managed to find its way up the stairs to the OF’s bedroom. The next plan was to close the bedroom door, open the windows, and again try to shoo it out the windows. This strategy did not work any better than the kitchen plan.

After quite awhile of this nonsense, the bird was getting a little tired and would occasionally rest on the top of the headboard of the bed.

The OF said a couple of times he tried to cautiously catch it but, as he got a few feet away from that group of flying feathers, it would take off so the OF and his wife would start flipping the pillow cases to get the thing to go out the window. No dice.

Then finally, huffing and puffing, the bird lit again on the headboard and the OF was able to catch it. He gently carried it to the window and let it go.

The dumb bird made a complete "U" turn and flew back into the bedroom through the window, past the OF, and the chase started all over. Once again, the OF was able to catch the bird and again he carried it to the window very carefully and let it go.

This bird must have had a mental problem because the OF said it made the same "U" turn and was back in the house.

The OF said that the bird did a few more loops around and he finally caught it but this time the OF said he took and held onto it like a baseball and he then went to the window and threw that feathered thing like he was throwing from center field to home plate.

This time, the bird made a few flips in the air before it got its wings together so it could fly, and by that time the wife had slammed the window shut, while the OF ran and shut the other window.

The bird flew back towards the closed window, the OF said, and made a couple of fly-bys, then took off. They haven't seen it since, or so they think, the OF said because he has so many of that type of bird flying around they don’t know any of them by name, and wouldn't be able to pick from a line-up the one that decided it wanted a larger bird house.

Going batty

Many places have their problems with bats, but another OF had a different kind of bat problem. The OF has a wood-burning stove in the living room and, at this particular time, the stainless-steel chimney had a regular cap on it.

One day, his wife said she heard something like a squeaking sound coming from the stove. The OF listened but he did not hear anything.

The next day, the OF said to the wife that he heard a rustling sound coming from the stove, and this time she heard it, too. The OF said he opened the fill door to the wood stove to see what was going on and a bat flew past his shoulder.

The bat was panicked; it was covered with ashes and soot, which trailed behind this swooshing bat like the contrail of an airplane.

Panic now reigned everywhere — panicked bat, panicked wife screaming and running into the bathroom and closing the door, and one confused OF.  

Trying to catch bats on the fly with their super-sensitive radar is like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall. The OF said he decided to open the door and just watch and see if the bat would find its way out.

The bat was much smarter than the bird and eventually did find the open door and was gone.  Oh, the OF said, there is now a chimney cap with a screen in it on top of that stack.

There is another bat story that would take a whole column to report on so we will save that for another time.

Those OFs who made it to the Chuck Wagon Diner/Restaurant in Princetown is anybody’s guess, _______ _______ ______; you can fill in the blanks because this scribe wasn't there so this time it is “and not me."