As we drove away from our house the other morning, my youngest child cheered enthusiastically from the backseat. “Look, Mama, ibis!” Sure enough, to the right of the vehicle was a group of them. I smiled, proud my kids are learning to point out varying birds they see along the way, just like some of their great-great grandparents taught their grandmother to do, who in turn taught her children to do.
The next moment she asked, “What are they saying, Mama?”
I smiled again, laughing to myself. I’m not sure if their great-greats taught anyone that. In an effort to entertain my children, I tell them stories pretty often, and usually ibises and other birds we spot along our drives end up in my stories. I tell them tales about the ibises spying on our house, to see when we leave so they can bother Shorty the Wonder Dog, our household hound. They love these stories because they’ve seen how Shorty reacts to a flock of ibis, or any type of bird in our yard for that matter, and it is always a comical spectacle. While Shorty might not have the same reasons, one thing is for sure, she is interested in birds. From the patio door she growls and barks at them, and when I open the door she takes off like lightning, chasing them out of her territory. After her mighty chase and from pure exhaustion at having worked her tiny legs so strenuously, she goes back to her bed, returning to dreamland. The dog likes to sleep. So naturally, when my child asks me what the birds are saying, I tell her they are watching us leave so they can go hang out in our yard and irritate Shorty, who is only concerned with protecting her family from the big bad ibises.
This morning, there were ten of them in our yard, and Shorty was dying to go after them, but I snuck out first and took a couple of photos. I thought about my youngest child as I watched them. What are they saying Mama? The ibises seemed to tolerate my presence but studied me cautiously. I’m quite certain they were discussing whether or not I was going to let them enjoy their breakfast in peace or whether I would release Shorty the Wonder Dog to disturb them. So after a few minutes I went back inside, and did what all good pet owners would do I suppose, and I let Shorty out. 😉 Those birds were gone within ten seconds, and Shorty could go back to sleep with a burden lifted. She had defended her family from the tormenting ibises. 😉