My boss's cubicle at work is situated such that when I talk to him, I'm also looking out the window overlooking the parking lot.  We're right on the ground level, so I can see all what's going on out there.  And, being that I'm imminently distractable in many ways, when I'm talking to him, or listening, I will catch a bit of movement out of my eye.  Mostly, it's pretty common stuff, a chipmunk scampering from under one car, over to the next.   A small bird flying across the lot.   Geese (during that time of year) waddling through the parking lot looking for somewhere to make a nest.  It's the kind of thing that I notice, but don't focus on enough to be really distracting.   Until recently.

Lately, we've been visited by at least one cardinal.  I've seen it on three seperate days, and it could even be three different birds, or it could be the same one.  In any case, a cardinal isn't a completely noteworthy bird this time of year.  I spot them here and there.  The males in their bright red plumage are pretty much designed to be easily noticed.  However, in this instance, what drew my attention wasn't the fact that it was a cardinal, but how it was behaving.

Someone at the office has a big SUV/Truck, and that truck has a big, shiny, chrome bumper on the front.  I noticed the cardinal standing on the strip of mulch between the parking spots, and it would leap into the air and fling itself at the bumper, then drop back to the ground.  It would do this over, and over, and over again.  The behavior odd enough that I had to point it out to my boss, who also watched for a moment in a bit of amazement.   I don't know for sure what is going on, being that I'm no animal behaviorist, but I'm suspecting that the cardinal thinks it's seeing another male cardinal in the reflection from the chrome bumper, and is trying to scare it off.  But, well, that's really not going to work out for the poor little guy.  No matter how many times that bird flings himself forward to scare off the other bird, that "other bird" isn't going anywhere.

I can't tell if I feel like that poor bird these days, flinging myself again and again at the same kind of things almost to no avail.  Or, if I think, maybe I need to develop more determination like the bird.  To learn to launch myself again and again into the fray to try to make the "impossible" happen.  After all, every time that little bird takes to the air, it is absolutely convinced it's going to win. 
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Edward Greaves

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