She’s feeling ignored.
She doesn’t want to go out back to her pen, a place she enjoys these days before things get to hot out there in the coming weeks. She wants to go out, but not to go out, if you know what I mean. I attempt, a second time, to take her out to her pen and she detours to the folding chairs on the other end of the deck.
There she settles in her favorite location to watch the road. She looks over her shoulder at me, still attached to her leash, and says I can either stand there like a dummy, or sit in the chair and enjoy the evening. With her.
So I sit.
She watches the road. I watch the birds in the trees above as they make their decisions about dinner. They are coming in for their evening meal and Katie and I, though we are sitting very still, are objects to consider.
A single gold finch begins to sing…three notes, the last on an upward question; “You still here? You still here? He’s not sure what to do about us, so he keeps asking.
The group of three chickadees aren’t worried about us at all. They work themselves down to the lowest hanging branches, just above us, cock their heads, consider us unimportant, and shoot off to the feeder, each grabbing one choice seed and skidding back up into the branches where they tap open their seeds, the sound multiplied by three.
I think I hear a nuthatch, they sort of whine when they want something, but I can’t see it. Then a downy woodpecker swoops down to the feeder, and I realize I might have mistaken it for the nuthatch.
A titmouse flutters above my head, not sure if it should go get something to eat, or pull some hair for a nest. I must have moved; suddenly it flies straight up and over to the feeder.
More goldfinches join the lonely one, each singing, none brave enough to eat with us sitting there. Soon there is an entire choir, but apparently they find no strength in numbers.
I nod off a little, no worries, Katie is keeping watch while simultaneously breaking twigs into smaller twigs. She’s a multi-talented little girl.
Suddenly there is scrambling and chirping and two chipmunks race up the railing and across the deck and down the other side. Since she is so focused on her twigs Katie misses all the action. I nod off again.
Hearing something scrambling in the leaves below I glance down, expecting to see Chip or Dale. But no. It a towhee! I’ve lived here more than twenty-five years and I’ve only seen this bird twice before! It scratches around in the the dry leaves for a moment or two, and then flies away.
Katie doesn’t understand why I am so excited, or why she gets a treat when we go inside. I owe her that towhee sighting, and all the other bird (and chipmunk) games we got to watch. Because if she hadn’t said “enough mama,” I’d have missed it all.
Katie is full of good ideas, if only I’d stop and listen. She’s napping now, probably dreaming up something else fun for us to do.
As I’m sure she’s told you, she has to do everything around here.