A Starling in the House

by Kathy Handyside

A starling got in the house. It flapped desperately from room to room until it got caught in the window blinds and I was able to catch it. I felt its jackhammering little heart and held it for a minute, stroking it to calm it. I admired the beautiful pattern of its soft speckled feathers. It didn’t try to peck me. I was quietly awed at holding this little wild life in my hands.

I carried it outside, released it, and watched it fly happily away. I was happy, too. I have always related better to animals than to people. Whenever the harsh world of people gets to me, I find that something as simple interacting with Max and Sammie, my neighbors’ dogs, always gives my spirits a lift.

I know that many people regard the starling as a nuisance bird. But the starling in the house didn’t feel like a nuisance. It felt like a gift.