the bird feeder

Last winter I purchased a bird feeder. I don’t know why I made this purchase; I always said I would never be one of those women, which to me meant “old woman who feeds birds” (sorry mom). I cannot explain this purchase other than to attribute it to just another out-of-body experience I occasionally have when shopping at the local SuperWalMart. You may be familiar with the out-of-body-shopping phenomenon – you’re pushing your cart around the store for about an hour in a somnolent haze, having a vague awareness of idly picking things up off the shelves and putting them into the cart, then before you know it you’re waking up in the check-out line and notice you’re purchasing things like a bird feeder, and a pole to hang the bird feeder on, and bird food, and a small sledgehammer to pound the damn bird feeder pole into the ground with. At that point, it’s too embarrassing to say “hold on, I briefly left my body while shopping and don’t know why I put this shit in my cart”, so you just pay for all the crap and schlep it home.

I took my new little sledgehammer and pounded the damn pole into the half-frozen winter ground, filled the feeder with food and hung it up. It took a couple of days before I noticed any bird activity around my feeder so I guess it takes awhile for one of them to find new food and report back to the others; but soon enough there were lots of little gray birds hanging around eating the seeds they all seem to enjoy so much. After a couple more days the feeder was empty. Empty??? How could those little tiny birds eat so damn much food? I filled it up again, exhausting my supply of bird food, and they just as quickly emptied it. Unfortunately for the unsuspecting birds, I lost interest in them and their avian welfare and didn’t rush out to buy more food. Occasionally I would see a lone bird fly over to the empty feeder, look around, then fly away in disgust and could imagine him reporting back to his little friends huddled in bushes and trees, shivering and hungry, saying “sorry, no luck again today, guys.”

Soon after that, there was an ice storm and the entire bird feeder assembly was pushed to the ground by the weight of the ice. There it lay (laid?) for the next couple of months, the pole sprawled out and pointing towards the feeder which lay several feet away, upside down, ice-encrusted and empty; a sad testament to my indifference towards the birds.

Warmer weather eventually came and thawed the ground. One sunny afternoon, in a brief flurry of activity, I pounded that pole back into the ground with my little sledgehammer, filled the bird feeder up with new food and hung it up. The birds returned, of course, and they enjoyed a feeding frenzy for the next couple of days – until the food ran out again. That was 3 weeks ago. The birds are disgusted with me. I’m sure the word is out that I’m totally unreliable, but really, they should have known this all along. I never fill up the bird bath either.

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