White Dog came in through the dog door so quietly I thought she was hiding something. She wasn't but stayed low and quiet. "Get up, momma, but be quiet and come with me." I looked into her eyes wondering whether to feel fear or urgency, but she was wagging and tranquil. "Hurry!" she whispered.
I followed her, barefoot, out of the bedroom through the house and out the back door in the kitchen. "Shush," she turned and cautioned me again. She stopped me halfway down the ramp and sat down. I looked at her.
"Do you see him?" she asked? I squatted down and followed where she was looking. "The woodpecker, momma, do you see him? Isn't he beautiful?" I heard him then and shifted my view slightly. There he was, a tiny guy with a brilliant red head and blaze. He was tapping on the trunk of the big tree in the yard. "Move slowly," she cautioned, "he frightens easily." We backed up and moved to sit on the steps. Together we watched as he worked to find breakfast. WD is a gigantic lover of the bird life in our yard and I had to remind her not to get mad at her siblings as they began to make their way out for a morning potty break. "Thanks, Little One," I told her as we came back inside. "Did you know we have a woodpecker," I asked Steve. "I have been hearing him the past few days but this morning White Dog and I saw him when we were out watering plants. I hoped she would share him with you."
Later as Michael was about to start his after school chores, he came rushing in. "Don't let the dogs out. I swear a dead bird just dropped from the sky and almost landed on me! I think i better clean it up because you know how Puffy is."
I heard a howl from White Dog as she charged outside to make sure it was not "her" woodpecker. It was not nor had it dropped from the sky. Michael had startled one of the neighborhood cats post successful hunt and the blackbird fell out of the tree where the cat was just starting to enjoy her reward as she jumped down into the next yard. I gave him strict instructions for a safe cleanup and promised to keep the rest of the WDA inside until he gave an all-clear.
White Dog came in, furious and making threats against all catdom. "Be fair, White One, that cat may have to hunt to eat. Don't judge until you know the full story. Remember, your sister Puff was once a barnyard dog living in the dirt and supplementing her meals with birds, too. And who can only guess what Quinn was forced to eat when he was a street dog. Let us believe that bird gave its life nobly in the chain of life."
"I still don't like it," she huffed. "Why don't we just put out food for them?" "Because that is no guarantee that they will not kill birds AND it will traumatize all of the WDA to have cats coming for meals and hanging around your yard." "We have to think of a solution," she said, "I would hate to think of this morning's beautiful woodpecker lying with its belly ripped out under the bushes."