Familiar Encounter


Looking through the glass not as darkly as yesterday, I contemplate what is happening right in front of me. This morning the sun is shining and the colors are dense, the green grass looking as emerald as Oz.

So far I’ve spied a turkey stealthily slipping through the far edge of the yard. A female robin, dull browns and reds, pecks for slimy earthworms in the lawn along with a handful of pesky squirrels rooting the rose bushes for whatever they buried last fall. The brilliant blue jay lands on the water dish left up all winter. It’s full of pine needles and dirt but he doesn’t care, he dips his yellow beak and takes a hearty swig.

A woodpecker brat-tat-a -tatttting on the metal chimney cap for the second day in a row puts me in remembrance of another such painful nightmare involving a winged wackjob. As I run out the door to scare away the lunatic fowl I mutter under my breath, I will put the hurt on this bullshit if I have the chance.

Once before, not here but in the duplex before this place, a woodpecker woke me every morning at precisely 3am pecking on the sill board in my second story bedroom. I started going to bed super early in anticipation of this varmint’s head rattling wake up call. Three weeks in I am starting to lose my mind, I decide it’s me against the pecker.

Still in the black of the early morning, I lie awake in wait for the confrontation. I used to sleep topless back then,, my 38 double d’s swinging loosely in the wind. I am exhausted from lack of shut eye at the beak of this ass-bird. When I am over tired, I become wildly irrational and episodically violent. I doze and wake in an uncomfortable cycle of anger and revenge. I am armed, dangerous and half asleep when the enemy lands and starts his assault………………..


I leap from the bed, pepper spray can in my tightly clenched fist, long hair wildly swinging, boobs banging into my armpits, I throw the window open wide and I lean out the window and am face to face with my abuser….we look deep into each other’s eyes, mine crazed, red and swollen from these nightly encounters, his small, dark and beady not quite understanding what his fate might be.

With fearless grit and determination, I raise my weapon, take good and careful aim and with all my strength I empty the noxious liquid directly into his woodpecker face. It’s a direct hit! I watch in gleeful joy as he spirals all the way down two stories onto my front lawn and lands with a surprisingly loud Thud.

Smugly satisfied with my valiantly successful effort to incapacitate this varmint, I flop back into my bed and promptly fall asleep.  The insidious invasion of my precious sleepy time has been contained. I am victorious.

I awake many hours later to what appears to be a war zone. The curtains have been half ripped off the wall, the window still wildly flung open, the screen is just gone. On the floor is the used container of pepper spray. As I groggily intake the mess, the encounter returns to my memory with amazing audacity. Instantly I remember the horrific shellacking of the feathered invader and I run to the gaping window hole and look down to where I saw the pecker plummet to it’s probable, justifiable death.

It’s gone…as in, Not There. I am uneasy as I throw on clothes and go down to hunt for the refugee from hell. Where is this lunatic lurking, I wonder as I search all over the immediate area. I search my memory banks along with the lawn area, did I dream this warlike encounter? No, I’m certain it actually happened. Then where is this damn bird??
This last question will never be answered. Perhaps a coyote came along and ate him, possibly he recovered from his pepper spray assault and flew far away to a less dangerous window sill. I won’t hear from this particular feathered foe again, or will I? Is this new pecker some brazen long lost relative come to invoke some depraved bird brained revenge? All I can say is, look out woody, now I have a taser……..


3 thoughts on “Familiar Encounter

  1. I had to come back and tell you this is the funniest, and best story I’ve heard in a long, long time. I tried to relay it to my husband and it lost everything in the telling. You are a vivid, exciting storyteller.
    Are you getting sleep now? : )

    • LOL…Thank you for such a good review! I found myself getting soo mad at the new pecker that I had to vent my feelings in this story. It helped me feel better yesterday but today, again, at 7am, here comes this damn bird. I am an ardent animal lover and activist but woodpeckers are relentless until stopped and I don’t want to hurt him, but I will….

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