It was the frantic fluttering that caught my attention. I couldn’t hear the terrified cheeps because I was listening to Beethoven’s Ninth as I thinned out the wintergreen mint that had taken over the edge of the garden. Two tiny wrens were caught in my invisible fence. A third had escaped over the top.

I lifted the fine mesh fencing from the ground which allowed one of the little birds to escape. The other had tangled his claws and neck in his effort to break free.

“Shhhhhh…it’s okay Little One. Shhhhhhhh…” I said quietly.

Gently I slid my hand over his wings, holding him softly. He quieted. I slipped the mesh off his head and unwound it from his foot. In one flash he powerfully thrust himself out of my hand, backwinging to my left, only to fly into the mesh on that side of the garden. He began what could only be a birdie scream. From the tree on the boulevard loud cheeping erupted.

“You blundering idiot! You have got to fly over the thing! I showed you! I showed both of you! Come on now, pull back, then fly up!

“I’m trying, Papa! I’m trying! What is this thing? It is like a wall with teeth and claws!”

“Calm down, son. Calm down. It is called a net. Hush! The Big One is coming again. She will help you!”

“I don’t want her help! I don’t want her to touch me again!”

“She’s lifting the net. Wait for it. You can fly under it like I showed you.”


Wondering what was being said in the furious exchange of cheeps and trills and twitters, I followed the Little One to where he was beating against the mesh again. As I began to lift the mesh from the ground, he erupted into a loud rush of cheeping, and abruptly flew back from the fence, and then up, oops…up some more…oops…and over!

They were gone quickly. All was silent again except for the rustle of leaves in the tree, the buzz of bees in my mint patch and the whining of mosquitoes.

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