"What's this?", asked the goatfather. But, I knew what it was. Yes, indeed. I recognized the tell-tale signs right away. I turned to Watson and said, "Ah, Watson, my good man! Another mystery is afoot!"
So, to begin, allow me to provide you with photographic evidence of the occurrence. What you see below is the side-view mirror of the goatfather's truck. Mind you I do not pay attention to THE TRUCK as a matter of course. This is due to the fact that I had to ride in it once upon a time. I can't say it is my fondest memory, yet it did hold a certain air of adventure. Nonetheless, when I observed the goatfather's dismay at the obvious violation of his sacred vehicle, I knew my services were required. So who or what had come to leave this dastardly, excremental affirmation of its existence? It was a conundrum.
Watson and I set up round-the-clock surveillance of the area. We noticed right away that the other vehicle bore much the same deposition. It was obvious to us that extreme vigilance would be required in order to catch the culprit.
Finally the little blighter was caught in the act. It was, in fact, a small, yet nefarious ornithological specimen. (No. The goatmother did not take this photo. She is not nearly fast enough.)
It was a Ruby Crowned Kinglet. It seems he had wandered by the mirror one day, only to note that an infidel in a small, shiny box was trying to gain access to HIS territory. To make matters worse, there was not only one but four of these heathens! The nerve! Naturally, the Kinglet felt it was his bounden duty to rid the premises of these inferior feathered would-be usurpers and proceeded to take matters into his own hands - er feet. Again and again he flew at the fellows only to be beaten back.
Then Watson, the goatmother and myself noticed the Kinglet at the barn. He was on the ground. A strange place for a bird. He seemed to be trying to get up next to the barn as though to get warm. The goatmother noticed that he did not look well and, in fact, seemed hurt - perhaps the victim of battle fatigue or Gulf War Syndrome- who can be sure. She scooped him up and made a small nest in the hay in order to keep him warm. A day passed. The goatmother went to look, fully expecting to find the cold remains of the intrepid, albeit confused, mirror marauder. Instead, the nest was empty! A crime, but no body. Oy.
Later, as she was looking out the window, who should appear on a branch and fully fit, but our brave little friend. Our hearts were gladdened, for even though he left a mess in his wake, we had all become rather fond of him.
A light broke in upon my soul –
It was the carol of a bird;
It ceased – and then it came again
The sweetest song ear ever heard.
- Lord Byron