The “country-ish” place where we moved when I retired is a resort community for water fowl- herons, egrets, storks, and the like.
I was never really a bird person. In fact, at the zoo, I have been heard to remark “birds aren’t real animals.” For all the bird lovers out there, please do not take offense. I am sure birds are perfectly lovely creatures. They are, doubtlessly, imperative to the ecosystem. Just personally, I could never get too revved up about them. Maybe it is because my mother is afraid of birds, having been traumatized by an avian-related incident as a child. Maybe it is because my ex-husband insisted upon bringing a loud, dirty, irritable canure parrot (appropriately named Manure), into our tiny living space. For whatever reason, birds just never held the same appeal to me as furry mammals (to clarify, furry mammals like lions and tigers and bears- not furry mammals like mice and rats and possums).
When we moved here, though, I have to say that seeing Sandhill cranes roam free around the community was pretty high on the “cool factor.” There was one pair that we saw frequently when we took afternoon walks. At least, I think it was the same pair. Sandhill cranes all sorta look alike. The two in question seemed to hang out around the same street corner every day. They were always together. They claimed their places in the universe with assertive tranquility. They were not nasty when we approached them on our walks, but did not cede their ground to us either. We walked around them and everyone was happy.
One day, though, we noted that one of the cranes was missing from their normal territory on the street corner. It did not reappear over the next couple of weeks. I was unaccountably worried about those birds. What had happened to the other crane? Was it sick? Did it die? Did they have a fight and break up? Was one crane cheating on the other? Was the remaining crane lonely? Was it sad? It just really bothered me that the pair seemed to have been separated. My concern was pretty irrational, given the relative insignificance of two Sandhill cranes in my life, but there I was. Anxiety-riddled over the disappearance of a bird.
The other day, I was driving by my crane friends’ usual stomping grounds. I would say I screeched to a halt, except that you can’t really screech when you are driving at the community’s maximum speed limit of 10 miles per hour. Both cranes were back. And, with them, was the reason that the pair had not appeared together in some time. A little baby Sandhill crane, cute as it could be. It looked like a baby duckling strapped to the top of two pencils. Apparently, spring is when a young crane’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.
I can sleep again.
So, do storks really bring babies? Maybe, but Sandhill cranes certainly do!
So what are your thoughts? Spring brings change to the whole world! Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.