(Yes, this is a beautiful, if not cantankerous crow, but the ibis is skittish and I don’t have a long telephoto anymore…)
Taking up work at home has interesting advantages, as well as obvious drawbacks. The munchkin, a two-year-old ginger girl with a heart of gold, weeps openly when I go upstairs to the office. As you might imagine, this rends my heart. The minion, a seven-year-old, decries the fact that I don’t take him fishing every seven minutes whilst I am home. As you might imagine, this gets old. Nevertheless, I love them both, and having the opportunity to see them more often has been a blessing.
My sleep schedule has not changed too radically, as I still wake up in the wee hours of the morning to write. What has changed, is my company. Instead of the irritable Vietnamese cleaning lady and the security guard that we all refer to as “Lurch” or the “Parking Nazi,” I have been visited daily by a beautiful, but very skittish, brown ibis that perches in the birch tree outside the office window come about 3:00. He is either terribly lonely, horny, angry as hell, or schizophrenic. I haven’t quite figured out which it is. I have a sneaking suspicion that he is not lonely—though he might just be a racist—because he chased a white ibis away when I was walking Deacon yesterday.
His calls are monotone and shrill. They sound like, as I imagine, a professional mourner may have sounded in an ancient Roman funeral. “Aye-e, Aye-e, Aye-e.” How this hasn’t woken up the minion who is highly sound-sensitive is beyond me. He let me and the munchkin (duly muzzled for the endeavor) get a bit closer to him the other day while he was on the bank of the lake, and I think that he is more comfortable on dry land than he is perched in a tree. I never took an ibis, a wading bird, as a tree-mourner, but there you have it.
I think it’s a fairly perfect metaphor, however, for where I am right now. I am in a whole new roost in the converted “office” upstairs, which doubles as a guest bedroom, a TV room, a hermitage, and an observatory. Like the ibis, I find myself disgruntled in the morning, and I often wonder whether he has been displaced by the virus, too. Similarly, like the ibis, I find myself isolated, but not necessarily by anyone’s fault but my own. I am enjoying this social distancing so far, but even I, an inveterate introvert, miss my people. Perhaps the ibis is calling to a friend at the other end of the lake, and the two are masters in social distancing. Lord knows I have the time to figure this out from my perch in the observatory.
2 Replies to “The Angry Ibis”
First of all it is great to hear from you again. Your piece resonates with all of us I am sure. This whole pandemic is horrific. Stay safe and enjoy your beautiful family.
I LOVE your stories… please keep them coming. Can’t wait til mess is over with… I want so very much to get know Anna and your two precious children soooo much better. Sorry I’ve been out of the picture for so long…so much going on & I’m soooo tired🙀. Hope this finds y’all all well. and what an experience with you … & all the memories you can make for Kemper & Nora…only little for a short time ( too short Scott ♥️) the work will be there . I’m pretty sure your mom has told you about Autry’s sister passing away yesterday… it’s a sad time. Know I miss you & our times together. I Love You!😘❤️
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