Monday, February 23, 2009
Opening to Kat Among the Pigeons
The incessant tapping of small bird beaks against the bedroom window brought me out of a deep and blissful sleep.
Tap, tap, tap.
"Go 'way," I said, pushing my head under the pillow. Cato, a big lazy lump of a yellow cat slept on another pillow. He made a sound of protest and burrowed back into the blankets. I started to fall back asleep...
Then I began to hear the little voices.
"Big wings! Big Wings!"
Tap, tap, tap.
"Don't care," I mumbled.
Tap, tap, tap-tap-tap-tap. "Big-big-big wings!"
I rolled over, pausing for a moment to stare at the ceiling as I considered what kind of ecological disaster would be sent upon the earth if I wiped out the nuthatches.
Tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap.
It sounded like a badly sung round robin, with the drummer out of beat as well -- and it was not a sound a person could sleep through. I sat up, brushed hair from my eyes and looked toward the window where a dozen or more panicked nuthatches held to the wood around the frame, some of them hanging upside down, and all of them tapping ceaselessly at the window. Their little voices rose in high-pitched cries of frantic worry.
"Big wings, big wings, big wings."
"Yes, yes. I got the idea. I'm getting up!"
I yanked on my robe as I stood. Pale, grey light drifted through the window; it couldn't be more than a few minutes past dawn. Cato lifted his head from the pillow and blinked sleepily.
"What is wrong with the little nuts?" he asked and yawned.
"Not nuts," I answered batting at his head as I went past. I missed and he just stretched again. "Nuthatches."
"All the same to me," Cato said and laid back down, his tail curled up around his nose. "Do you think you could quiet them down a bit?"
"Sure. I could throw you out the window and they'd probably find that interesting enough to shut up about the eagle or hawk or plane that upset them this morning."
Cato snorted and mumbled something I didn't quite hear. Probably just as well.
Understanding animals is fairly common among the fae. It's what makes us good at our work, even on this side of The Edge. But. . . . Well, I'm not blessed with the ability to understand all animals like most of my kind. No, I got lucky enough to just catch two: birds and cats.
It's not a good combination.