There was a bird at my window. It came there everyday. At four-thirty in the afternoon.
The window was an old ventilator that had been recently sealed with glass because it was close to the ceiling, too tall to reach without a ladder and I had been afraid it would make an easy entry for the pests. Well, now I couldn’t reach the beautiful bird.
I wondered what it wanted. Perhaps it was hungry. Poor little thing.
I ordered a bird feeder and climbed up the stairs to the terrace from where I could hang the feeder close to the bird’s favorite window. I put some grains in it and waited excitedly for the afternoon.
At four-thirty, it arrived and completely ignored the feeder. It flapped its wings against the glass pane and called. As if it were telling us something. So, not hungry then.
The next morning my husband kept a little dish with water near the feeder. Maybe the little guy was thirsty?
It was back on time. But it disregarded the water and preferred to crash against the window like every day. As if the window would suddenly have opened for him after days of doing just that. It was trying to get in. But why! What was in our house!
We googled the bird. It was a red-whiskered bulbul. It really was strikingly beautiful. Sang in a melodius four note call. Quite adorable with its mohawk hairstyle and specs of black and red. But although google helped us get to know our visitor’s family better, it hadn’t been much help in knowing what our visitor may have wanted. What did he want, our dear bulbul?
The next morning we were woken up by urgent knocking. Yes, the bulbul had returned. And at 6 am this time too. I pulled the blanket up on my eyes and went back to sleep. But the incessant knocking went on and on. This was beginning to get tiresome, huh.
I got out of bed and walked rather angrily to the window but was instantly mollified. There were two of them this time. Our birdie had a friend. I waved to them. They flew away.
Soon enough, they were back. The guy bird and the girl bird, I guessed. They both wanted to get in. They would turn and look at an empty loft right across the window. The loft was as tall as the window, so we had no means of reaching it without significant effort either. Maybe they could spot something there that they wanted? Lizards or insects or bugs? I hoped not.
I checked the bird feeder at night. They hadn’t eaten much. I took it away and also took away our little disc with water. They clearly hadn’t cared for any of it and I clearly had failed to understand what they wanted. Fine. No more guessing.
A few days went by like this. The bird show went on. One day we came back home from the doctor’s. We were very happy. We were going to have a baby.
I went back to work. We grew accustomed to the noise at the window almost to the point that it stopped being a sound we registered anymore. It went on in the background. I wasn’t anymore trying to solve a problem I didn’t understand.
One day I was watering the plants in our front yard when I heard a rustling in the shrubs. I turned my water hose toward the source of the noise. The water brought out a shiny black cobra at me, its hood raised. My heart nearly jumped out of my chest. I threw the hose away and ran back inside the house, shrieking. I shut all the doors and latched the windows. My husband came out of the shower hearing the commotion. I grabbed him tightly.
“There is a cobra in our garden! I need you to get this snake out of here anyhow, okay! We need to snake-proof the house! We can’t have a baby being raised in a house where snakes can come in so easily! Who knows what else is lurking out there in the shrubs. We need to do something!” I frantically clutched at my non-existent baby-bump.
“Okay, okay.” he said. “Okay, we will. Calm down.”
I tried to. Calm down. Then there was the knock again.
The two birds were back at the window. I looked at the watch. Four-thirty. And then it hit me. Suddenly. Ahhhh. This time I knew it in my gut. They wanted to build a nest in our loft!
I looked at my husband and smiled. “They are having babies.”