Weird Birds

It was 7:30 on a sunny Monday Memorial Day morning.  Mom was up early so I’d gotten her banana and granola bar and glass of OJ ready before I had my first cup of coffee.  She called to me suddenly from the other room.  “Look, Patty! Mom shouted.  “Look at that weird bird,”

I left my empty mug sitting by the coffee pot, and went into the dining room.  Mom was sitting in her wheelchair, staring out the window into the backyard.

“What bird?” I asked, stifling a yawn.

“That crazy bird over there under the tree,” she said.

“Which tree?  There’re three in our yard and a bunch in the yard behind us.”

“The one near our house.  The big one with the yellow stuff all over it,” she explained, pointing in the opposite direction.

“Those are Palo Verde blossoms, Mom, not stuff,” I clarified.  “Okay, so what bird are you talking about?”

“The one underneath the tree.  It looks like its sick or something,” she said, frowning as she leaned forward and peered with focused intensity out the big picture window.

“I don’t see a bird under the tree, just two in the birdbath,” I replied, scoping out the rocky landscape under the Palo Verde.

“Well it’s right there.  It throwing up or choking or something,” she exclaimed.  “See, see.  It’s moving right now.”

My gazed zeroed in on the movement beneath the tree’s canopy.  I stared at it for a brief moment before I commented drily, “It’s a lizard, Mom, not a bird.”

“Are you sure,” she asked, squinting out the window and craning her neck forward.  She stared intently at the Spiny Lizard doing push-ups beneath the tree.

“Well, it doesn’t have wings or feathers,” I replied.  “It’s got four legs, a tail and it looks kind of leathery so I’m pretty sure it’s a lizard.”

“Okay then,” she said, pushing her wheelchair’s joystick hard to the left and performing a sharp 180.

“Do you think maybe you need to get new glasses?” I asked as she rolled towards her loveseat.

“No, it’s only been a couple of years since I got these.”

“It’s been four years and if you can’t tell the difference between a bird and a lizard, you really might want to consider getting your eyes examined.”

“My eyes are just fine,” she said as she plopped herself on the loveseat and picked up the TV remote with one hand and her breakfast banana with the other.

“Maybe it’s her head that needs to be examined,” Bill whispered from the kitchen.

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