Saturday, April 20, 2013

Mysteries of Everyday Life: Teleporting Sparrows

Some while back, my friend Kyle Cassidy woke up to find a dead bird on his nightstand and no way it could have gotten there.  Mondo creepy.  But I've got him beat.
I came out of my office this afternoon and discovered a sparrow perched on the newel post at the top of the stairs.  I blinked.
Then Marianne came out of the bedroom and the sparrow fled, an almost-invisible streak, into Sean's old room.  "There's a sparrow in our house!" I said quickly, so she'd know it wasn't something worse.
Acting resolutely, Marianne stepped into the room (I could see the sparrow atop the bookcase), closed the door behind her,opened the window wide, and went about the business of shooing the bird out.
 I, meantime, went downstairs and discovered a second sparrow clinging in desperate terror to the top of the kitchen screen door.  Miss Hope was below it, tail lashing, in full murder mode.
"Marianne?" I said.  "Have you chased out the sparrow?  Good.  Then you can help me with the other one."

We opened front doors and back, and when the sparrow was (to Miss Hope's great discontent) gone, we went through the house, trying to figure out how they'd gotten in.

Not a door or window was open.  There was, I'd swear, no way the birds could have gotten in the house?

So . . . did these sparrows fall sideways in time from a parallel dimension?  Or forward in time from a half century ago?  Or did they teleport?  Or (reality being stranger than we can imagine) did some distant Power create or project them into our house?  Is it possible that we're lucky it was sparrows rather than mastodons or Vikings?

I'll never know.



springer said...


Michael Swanwick said...

Nope. The original chimney was bricked and sheet rocked over long ago and our wood stove is shut tight. (We've had birds down it several times, which was dramatic but not at all mysterious.

Lars said...

Apports. Gene Wolfe discusses this phenomenon early in The Urth of the New Sun. You are, indeed, lucky that it was only sparrows.