Shake It Off/Chirp To It/Rufous

My acupuncturist tells me to “shake it off, like a dog”.  A dog gets up, shakes himself and whatever is bothering him off, and gets on with his day.  I think about this a lot, too.

An incident at our mountain cabin made me realize that not only dogs but probably all animals do this.  The door was open and a bird flew in, veering to an upper window.  Almost instantly, a bigger bird followed, heading straight and hitting the picture window at high speed.  While we were looking after this bird, hoping it could survive the impact, we forgot about the smaller one.  Once the smaller was sure the other was gone, he began fluttering.  We had to climb a ladder and scoop him up in a hat.  When we put the hat outside, he chirped and flew off to a nearby tree, where he continued to look at us and chirp happily for some time. I can only describe the expression on his face as blissful.

The bigger bird was a hawk, and I had to bury him in our bird graveyard. It was sad, but the songbird lived to sing again.  He didn’t waste a second thinking about his ordeal or worrying about his narrow escape.  He was ready right then to get on with the business of living.

Animals don’t have the luxury of wasting energy dwelling on life’s difficulties.  And when did holding onto grievances become so widespread among humans that it looks like a survival mechanism?  If that songbird were human, he would be recounting the incident to everyone, talking for years to a mental health professional, and perhaps blaming his family.

And why is my inclination to think of the marauding hawk as “he” and the gentle songbird as “she”?  We can’t hide from our assumptions.

Here’s a poem about another bird who flew inside and had to be scooped up in a hat:


Red-necked resplendent
ornery Rufous
flurries his wings
a mile a minute
sounds like a bumblebee
on steroids.

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11 Responses to Shake It Off/Chirp To It/Rufous

  1. gita4elamats says:

    Maybe there is some survival function in remembering, remember: ‘Once bitten, twice shy’? Maybe it prevents us from repeating mistakes but sometimes it goes too far?! 🙂

  2. Monica says:

    I really wonder about that, Ela. Is there some survival function in remembering and holding a grudge? I can’t think so. I really try to shake things off, and it’s hard. I recently accompanied a WOLF Sanctuary presenter to a local school. She was talking about how wolves discipline and teach their pups: 1 bite (or hard nibble), then lots of love. No grudges. No time or energy for that.

  3. gita4elamats says:

    They do shake themselves and move on, animals; why don’t we?! 🙂

  4. Al says:

    My kind of poetry!!
    Nice work Monica

  5. Monica says:

    And long. In Colorado we have bright sun and dry air, so it doesn’t seem that cold. Well, that’s our myth, anyway. The mountains are magical. We go to Yellowstone in winter, late spring, and fall. It’s magic any time of year, and I restore what little sanity remains. Come north, Bluebee, for a visit. And of course, there’s Australia…

  6. bluebee says:

    “We can’t hide from our assumptions.” Oh, how true that is. Isn’t it lovely how the weather dictates our getaways of choice – mountain cabin or beach shack? A Northern Hemisphere winter – now that would be something mystical, magical and quite novel to me 🙂

  7. andro51 says:

    Of course it is, I think that it is nice to be able to offer something that is a truism… Have a lovely day today…

    Androgoth XXx

  8. How lovely to have a Dove sanctuary. And I like to have you share your experiences. I do the same — hope that’s OK.
    Best – Monica

  9. andro51 says:

    Yes I like this story too, and yes the Bumble Bee on Steroids was fun…

    I rescued a young Dove recently, attacked by another predator (Just A House Cat) but still traumatic for the bird, anyway I scooped it up and popped it inside the shed until I could call the RSPCA… It had suffered a bit of a limp so perhaps a puncture wound to the leg or foot, anyway I am waffling a little, the officer called by to pick up the Dove and take it to the Dove Sanctuary…

    A lucky escape there I think but…

    Hey I am supposed to be commenting on your story and poem and here I am wittering about something that happened to me… lol Sorry about that, I enjoyed reading about the Hawk and Song Bird, you’re right Animals and Birds seem to accept things in the wild and just carry on without a care… A shame about the Hawk but on a happy note the Song Bird lived on to sing and sing again… Well done you for taking good care of it…

    Androgoth Xx

  10. Hi Pen,
    I’m sure that blog did almost write itself. The poem(s) about Bess will pop out, too, when ready. I have a funny border collie poem I’ll post soon. I hope it will make you laugh.

  11. penpusherpen says:

    Love the poem, ‘bumblebee on steroids’ made me laugh out loud..
    and isn’t nature wonderful…Though I know the Hawk died, the little one survived… IN this case presumably not survival of the fittest just the luckiest?
    and yes, we all assume, a human trait I suppose, Bess is sitting here beside me..and I’m assuming she wants to play…oh dear…it’s raining, I’ll just do this comment Bess, and we’ll play tag eh?…lol!!
    thank you for your words Monica, had me in tears too. In fact still am slightly moist about the eyes. that blog almost wrote itself…,

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