April 27, 2008


080425, originally uploaded by Erica the Ninja.

I first saw you, Mr. Cardnial, on a rainy day last spring when my cat was going berserk at the window. Evidently, he had never seen something so exotic either. Where we come from, birds are brown or gray, sometimes blue, but never red. My friend you are a fine specimen.

I just wanted one little picture...proof that you were indeed real. But alas, you thought yourself above my silly camera game and flitted away just as the shutter snapped. For weeks I would spy you in the magnolia tree or on the rock wall, but every time you would disappear just when I needed you to stay put. You like to play hard to get.

And then winter came, and you were gone. Your memory faded away under the mounds of snow and ice. I am sorry I forgot about you, Mr. Cardinal, its just that in New England there are more pressing things to think about during the winter. Like surviving.

The snow eventually melted and my ears were filled with birdspeak and I was happy that I didn't die this winter. And then, one day, on my way to work, there was an additional voice in the choir, something familiar, yet strange. A faint flicker of recognition rattled somewhere in the back of my brain...and then I remembered. It was you, Mr. Cardinal, right above my head! I was excited to see you!

I see that the winter has left you as coquettish as ever, though. You indulged me by staying put as I walked back to my house to get the camera that I had forgotten. You teased me by holding still while I set the ISO and aperture settings on my camera. You even faked like you were going to stay put as I raised the camera to my eye, but it was all one big joke to you. Ha ha. Really funny. The moment my finger hit the shutter button, you were gone. You have got a mean streak, my friend.

I am patient, though. I waited for days, listening to your weird little bird song laugh at me from high in the trees. You thought you were so smart, taunting me and teasing me like you did. Its okay, you can laugh all you want. I just wanted you to know that you aren't as sneaky as you might think. Yesterday I saw you before you saw me, and guess what? I snapped this picture while your back was turned.

Look who's laughing now, buddy.

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