Years ago John’s sister Barbara and Thom gave me two birds as a birthday present. They were motion-sensitive, moving their beaks and singing when you walked in front of them. I adored them. They lived on different levels of the house, the goldfinch in the dining room, and the robin on top of the armoire in our bedroom. They recently surfaced again after having been lost with my favorite cookbooks for two years. I had the three required batteries for one bird. Robin was the first to be activated, and I put him in the kitchen. That was not a popular choice. People went by and spoke to him.
“Who asked you about anything?”
“What was that?”
“If you don’t shut up, I’m gonna feed you a real worm.”
Before it escalated to bodily harm, I moved Robin to the bedroom where I could enjoy him all by himself. He is turned now so that the only time I set him off is when I get something out of the dresser drawer. The other day I didn’t hear anything moving in the office or kitchen and couldn’t tell if John were awake. I stooped down, sidled in front of the drawer, and opened it to get clean clothes. Good! I didn’t wake up John or the early bird.
Robin got a rewarding kiss.
It was meant as a reward, anyway. Maybe he would rather have had a worm.