Friday, June 8, 2012

You'll Never Believe This

Earlier this week, Court kept saying he heard noises coming from the fireplace. I completely dismissed him. What could possibly be in the fireplace?

Again and again, he kept saying he heard a something - a bird - to be precise. Finally, a few days later, I heard it too!

We immediately got a flash flight and started looking up the dark chimney. We didn't know what to do. How do you get a bird out of a chimney? Better question, how does a bird get into a chimney?

We decided to adjust the flue in a way that might allow the bird to escape into the empty fireplace. We pulled the chain 'fencing' closed so our 'friend' wouldn't be able to fly all around the house and hoped for the best.

The next evening, Court, hearing the bird again, decided to check on our 'little friend.' This time Court saw the bird! The bird was perched in an awkward way and if persuaded a bit in a certain direction, could be freed. So up went a poker into the flue, into the chimney to do some 'persuading'.

The poker did nothing but frighten poor 'Tweety Bird' back into the depths of the chimney. We were certain that he had fallen down behind the flue doors and we both realized that this was probably the end. How was a tiny bird, who hadn't had food or water in days, going to get himself out from under the ledge and then up and over the flue doors into the fireplace?

I was going to be gone all the next day but on my to do list? Call a chimney sweep! {In my head, I couldn't help but sing Chim-Chimery Chim Chim Cheroo...oh they don't make music like that anymore, do they?} In one last final attempt, we repositioned the flue in hopes that it would allow our little friend to escape.

Fast forward to this morning. The sun is just beginning to rise. Court is up, showered and buzzing about the house. I try to put myself back to sleep because for the first time in a loooong time, I have nothing on the agenda! {Suma-Summa time! Suma-time! I sing a lot in my head!}

Next thing I know, Court is standing beside me with a huge grin on his face! "Our little friend escaped...he's out of the chimney!" I'm groggy but I quickly get up. I walk out to the kitchen thinking I'm going to find a little sparrow hopping about and excited to reunite Tweety with the outside world.

Just as I reach the kitchen, I notice a LARGE, BLACK silhouette against our bay window in the living room. The sun is just coming up so the house is dark and the dawn is just breaking. The large, black object is completely out of place and I stop dead in my tracks. It swivels it's head like the chick possessed by the devil in The Exorcist to look at me and then...

I realize it is a huge, white, scary as all hell looking owl. AN OWL!! AN O-W-L! I have an owl in my living room!!!! Not only has the owl escaped from his sure to be tomb in the chimney, he has managed to get himself to the other side of the room and has perched himself on a ledge by our front door. Did he fly? Did he walk? How did we not hear this happen? How did our dogs not alert us to danger?

I didn't scream but I definitely panick as flashes of Man vs Wild came screeching across my brain (much like an angry screeching owl!). I retreat to the bedroom.

Both girls are still asleep. Thank God! Can you even imagine? But we still have a BIG owl in our LIVING room! As we discuss what to do next, the owl takes destiny in his own wings and flies into the window. Birds don't understand windows and we have birds careen into it ALL THE TIME! In fact, a few years ago, a small, baby, cute-as-a-button owl flew into our window (outside of course) and knocked itself silly. It sat on our porch in a stone-cold stupor for about five or six hours. Eventually, he flew away. (It couldn't be the same owl all grown up now, could it??!)

So the owl INSIDE our house goes flying into the window and falls to the floor. Now what?

The owl now sits about 10 feet from our front door. We NEVER use our front door. In fact, we pile up all the large toys - rocking horse, hopping ball, shopping cart, etc. in front of the door to get things out of the way. So the plan is for Court to go outside, unlock the front door from the outside and lure the owl outdoors. That should be easy enough, right?

Court is not quite ready to go outside. He needs a jacket and socks and shoes. It's raining and chilly and he probably needs some sort of armor in case he does get into some sort of physical altercation with the owl. It probably took Court less than five minutes to get himself ready for battle. But to me, it felt like an eternity. It must have felt that way to the owl too because before I can say Harry Potter, the owl has hopped across the floor - away from the front door - up onto the ledge of the fireplace, back through the chain fencing around the fireplace...and yes, folks...our owl friend is back in the fireplace! Not the chimney. The fireplace!

Court cautiously unlocks and opens the front door. He moves the toys and dining table out of the path of the owl. He kind of creates a little wall with our furniture so the owl only has one way to run fly. My mind is racing. Court has to leave in just a matter of minutes...he has to return his mom's car, which I borrowed the day before (long story - will explain later) so she can catch a plane! What am I going to do with two girls and an owl in the house?!?!

Heavy in thought, panic and disbelief, I see Court outside again fumbling around by the pool. He returns seconds later with a pool skimmer. He lowers the long rod so as not to frighten the poor owl who is now hopping up and down TRYING to get back into the chimney. With the fire poker, Court slides the chain fencing to the side so that there is nothing between us and the owl. Slowly, slowly, slowly, Court sticks the pool skimmer into the fireplace. He gently nudges the owl out from the corner of the fireplace, into the middle of the fireplace, then out on the ledge surrounding the fireplace. The owl is scared. He looks straight at Court and gives the most menacing, devil-like look, then turns his head and shudders in fear. This pattern repeats several times. Finally, the owl flops back down onto the floor. He spreads his wings awkwardly. Probably to maintain balance, possibly to make himself look more threatening but it also looks like one of his wings might be hurt.

Throughout all of this, I tried taking pictures with my iPhone as my other camera wasn't handy. Here is the only picture I got, but a picture I did get! Would you ever believe this story if there wasn't a picture to prove it?!

Moments later, Court was able to get the owl out the door. Immediately, without hesitation, the bird upon realizing it was outside took off and flew away. His wings obviously weren't hurt.

Needless to say, this went pretty smoothly. I mean who wakes up to an owl in their living room? Who has a playbook for that? But it could have been so much worse! Our bedroom doors are a matter of a few feet from the living room and they were all open. Can you imagine waking up to an owl in your bedroom?

Kiwi, our parrot, was perched on top of her cage. The starving owl could have had Kiwi for breakfast.

And what if our bark-at-everything-but-anything-of-significance dogs had seen the owl? They were both in our bedroom but neither are morning dogs so we were able to lock them in the bedroom before they even had a chance to realize what was going on. But what if the dogs had seen the owl? Started barking? Scared the owl into taking flight around the house? CAN. YOU. IMAGINE?

Way to go Court! You just earned yourself a waaaay better Father's Day gift than what I had originally planned.


Anastacia said...

That is amazing!! Omg I would have died, if I woke up to a big ass owl in the living room! Lol I'm glad he was ok and that you guys made it though that whole ordeal in one piece!

Megan said...

Holy Moly!!!! How exciting!!! I just think about my little Maren dog...she'd be lunch right away!

Home Sweet Home Place said...

Anastacia - waking up to a big ass owl is crazy! Luckily, my husband was home! NO IDEA what I would have done if it had happened when he was gone!

Megan - I think Maren would have been smart enough to stay away! :) Love seeing the updates on you and your family! Hope you are all doing well!