Dogged Obstinacy in a Pea-sized Brain!
-Fred Stock

            No, this isn't another article chopping at our beloved politicians. Read On! It was Super-bowl Sunday and hereabouts the winds were howling! Clouds raced across the sky at breakneck pace, and the tall old trees on the Palm Desert Country Club golf course outside our windows were waving their arms and plumage like furious ghosts, tethered to the ground but railing in protest, scolding the millibars for so violently disturbing their slumber. Our little birdfeeder, atop a four-inch diameter post, has a platform at the top supporting a millhouse and paddle wheel in miniature. Beneath the platform hangs a pair of dangling additions, one a small birdhouse on a chain, the other a molded basket with a kitty, made of plaster. The little millhouse has a fence around it and holds bird seed quite nicely.

                    The abrasive winds were roaring through the eves and rattling the windows and the panel in the hallway that leads to the attic was hopping up and out of position! The little hanging birdhouse out front was standing nearly straight out at times, and clattering loudly as it crashed back into the post in subsidence. The noises caught my attention; a glance through the office window had a shock in store. There, on the topmost peak of the little millhouse was a very little white crowned sparrow, clinging with those tiny twig legs and claws to that roof-center rail. The 45+ mile gusts gave the little creature animation it could not have imagined, but the bird was determined to a fault! They say the present-day birds are descendants of the dinosaurs, and if proverbial Iowa stubbornness is part of that heritage, I will testify in any courtroom. Their brains are said to be the size of a garden pea, but apparently the creator endowed them with a power of focus to be envied! The tail feathers were flapping and the tufts around the neck flagellated like a youn g g irl’s pony tail in the heat of a footrace!

           Somehow that determined little critter managed to stay put as long as he wished, then actually hopped down into the fenced area around the millhouse to get a solitary seed in his little beak where our grandson had stocked the feeder on a visit the day before. Then, after fighting that gale before, he hopped back up on the crest to eat the seed whilst in peril without apparent notice! I watched him several minutes, teetering and balancing, then in a moment of brief respite, flew to our olive tree whose branches afforded only the slightest protection and relief. And then he flew back for another seed, repeating all of the aforementioned!

            If we could muster that kind of determination all the time, we’d be a race of supermen. Yikes!  –fhs