The lady next door is very strange. Her patterned babooshka hides most of her bald head as she stands outside her back door calling the birds.
-Cree, creeee, creeeeee, she sings out. Cree, creeee, creeeeeee.
My sleep-filled eyes pop open at the early morning call. Cooing and furious flapping sounds fill the air and pour in my open window, making sleep a distant memory. 375 birds flock in from all directions, gather en masse in a swirling circle over a 4 house radius for breakfast each morning and supper each evening.
Sulphurous patches of poop land indiscriminately on decks, fences and garden furniture. Feathers and down float through the air, picked up and carried on the slightest breeze. Large bird bodies colliding with windows or clogging chimneys is a common occurrence here. Besides the noise, the pollution and the health hazards, civic by-laws disallow the feeding of wild animals and birds, making the whole backyard pigeon coop thingy illegal.
-Birds have souls too, you know. They are dearer than people. I take care of them, feed them and protect them.
Neighbourly relations have strained to the point of breaking on this block, but the lady in the babooshka sings on:
-Cree, creee, creeeeeeee, every morning and evening, calling her feathered friends for free food!