Friday, April 1, 2011

The strangest day!

Today has been the strangest day! The kitty boys woke me and Matt up extra early, they were going frantic and we didn't know why. We tried to ignore them and get a few more minutes of sleep, but when Linus, Sherpa and OB yowled their fiercest hunter's cry and pounced on the same spot, at the same time, we knew there was something out of the ordinary about their wild behavior.

I got up to investigate, shooed all three boys out of the way, and couldn't believe my eyes! They had trapped a tiny yellow finch behind my dresser!!! Never in all my time living in the city, have I had a bird fly into my house (back at my parent's place it happens about once a year, so I kind of knew what to do).  Matt grabbed the boys and put them in another room. I know, they get so little excitement it was almost cruel to keep them from witnessing our rescue of the bird, but the poor feathered thing looked frightened enough- he certainly didn't need three more predators breathing down his neck.

With a small towel, I reached my hand behind the dresser and picked up the finch. He was frozen in fright. Matt and I took a closer look while he was in my hand, he didn't move a muscle or blink an eye. His feathers were mostly the color of a soft lemon cream, with markings on the back of his head in variations of gray and black. (We took a picture, but are no longer in possession of our camera, but he looked a lot like this bird I found in a Google image search). 

As I looked at him, I noticed he had something in his mouth, something he clutched tightly in his beak. It looked like metal. I thought for a moment that I should remove it, it was probably garbage,  but decided I ought not, for fear he might swallow it. 

It was time to set him free. Matt and I stepped out on to our balcony and I opened up the hand towel so that the little bird could fly away. We could hear all three boys scratching on the other side of the bedroom door, demanding to be let in. The little bird lay still in my hand for a few moments, then he flicked about his head and popped up onto his feet, and flapped off of my hands.

He didn't fly away, not quite yet. He hovered around our balcony for a minute. Matt thought he was "testing his wings" to make sure nothing was injured in his misadventure with the cats, but I thought there was something strange about this. I set down the towel and reached out my bare hand toward the little bird, and he flew back to me. He didn't land on me though. He flew over my hand and dropped something onto my palm, and then he flew away so quickly that we couldn't see for sure in which direction he left.

In my hand was the thing the little bird held in his mouth. I thought it was a metal bead, but Matt said it looked more like a gold seed. Either way, it was very pretty. It must of been his way to thank us, we figured, and we returned the sentiment by calling out "thank you too" into the morning air and went on our usual business. Besides, someone was going to call the police if we didn't tend to our cats, with all the noise they were making. As it is, we'll have to replace the bedroom door- unless the next tenants like the look of claw marks. We tried to make up with the boys but they were furious at us both. They all sat together and pouted, and none of them would look us in the eye...

This is a similar to the treatment we were given this morning. This picture was taken a few weeks ago though, after we would not allow the boys to sit on top of the flat screen TV.  The photo from this morning was, unfortunately, lost.

Over coffee, Matt and I joked that the gold seed would sprout gold coins and that the little bird's gift was our ticket to getting rich. So, for fun, I placed the little gold seed in with the potted houseplant on my desk and got ready for work.  Matt had today off but he had a busy day planned, so we left together. After such an unusual morning, you'd think the rest of today would be your run-of-the-mill day, but it wasn't.

I was supposed to work until 4:30, but around noon my boss said I could go home. Apparently, the event I was going to cover was cancelled due to severe weather conditions. Strange, since it was 90 degrees and blue skies outside. But not wanting to question a Friday afternoon out of the office, I packed up my computer and left. I called Matt to tell him I was heading home and he offered to pick me up, as he finished his errands early as well. What a treat! I hoped that I would be able to steal an afternoon nap (since we were up so early!) but I knew Matt was going to guilt me into heading to the gym! Regardless, we were both happy to get home at such an early hour. 

When we walked through the door, none of the boys greeted us, not even Sherpa who acts like front door greeting is his most important job. We agreed that the boys must still be mad about being locked out during this mornings bird rescue. But once we put our bags down and called for them and still didn't see them, we decided to go hunt them down and smother them with kisses. Not under the dining table... not behind the couch... we headed for the bedroom. On the way down the hall, I passed by the office door first and glanced in. I screamed.

Matt rushed to my side. His eyes fell upon the same thing mine were fixated upon and he muttered barely audible curse words under his breath. Impossible. We looked at each other. What on earth had happened in here?

Growing from the pot that use to house only my wilting house plant, was a giant stalk. Like, a Jack and the Beanstalk sort of stalk. This thing was at least two feet wide. But it wasn't the width that freaked us out, it was the height. 

The stalk shot up straight through the ceiling. As we got closer and looked up through the hole it had made, we could see the stalk climbing through  toward the blue sky. Since we live on the third floor of a four story building, we were at first horrified about the damage this had caused the apartment above us, but once we noticed that the stalk had no visible end in sight- that it just kept climbing high into the sky as far as our eyes could see, we realized we had bigger things to worry about. 

We kept asking each other what this thing could be, and how it got here, when we both remembered the golden seed from this morning. I admitted that I had placed it in the very pot this enormous stalk grew from, and Matt gave me a stern look. As if I should have predicted this would happen! 

We bickered a bit, and then tried to think of what to do next. We decided that we couldn't cut it down, as it was too tall and would cause too much damage if it fell. We couldn't call the police, as they would certainly not believe us and find us crazy or believe us and somehow find us criminal--as I am sure a plant of this nature is not exactly legal. In the middle of our deliberations, Matt examined the base of the stalk, and said gravely... "We have to climb it."

He pointed out to me the one thing that would make me haul my butt up a magical plant that reached beyond the clouds... kitty claw marks.  Our boys had made the climb. We had to go get them.

I immediately grabbed on and tried to get my footing, but Matt stopped me and said we needed to gather a few supplies first.  He fetched a pair of binoculars, some water and a rope and stuffed them all into a pack. I added the camera (just in case) and our phones (you never know where you might get reception!) and a bag of Linus' favorite treats. We changed into shoes that were more suited for climbing, and he told me to wear a warm jacket, as it was sure to get cold the higher we climbed.

We had everything we could carry, and hurried to start our climb. I made Matt go first, as I trusted him to find the best sprigs and leaves to use for footing, and up we went.  It was like climbing up an uneven ladder.  We walked on through our ceiling and continued on through the apartment above ours (I always wondering what it looked like! Pretty much identical to ours only instead of having a giant stalk grown through their office, it was grown through their nursery! Fortunately, by the looks of things, everyone was out for the day). Once we got to the outdoors though, my stomach started to quiver.  There was nothing around us but open air and gravity! The further we climbed the farther the drop got, and the more my stomach flipped and fluttered.  

When we were at least three or four stories above the roof of our building, I stopped and thought about how absurdly dangerous this was.  I tried to yell to Matt that I wanted to return, but my voice got lost in the wind and he didn't hear me.  I took one step back down, and looked around me.  Cars driving below looked like toys and people like moving spots of color. I clutched the stalk dearly, and right in front of my nose was another set of cat scratch marks.  In fact, as I looked up and down the stalk, I saw more and more. 3 distinct sets; Sloppy, clumsy marks left by Sherpa, even, springy marks left by OB, and the deep-set and gimpish marks of Linus. With a deep breath, I continued my climb. Faster this time, and soon Matt and I were seriously high above the earth.  The stalk pierced through wispy, transparent clouds, and still we climbed.

This is the only photo from today that made it- Matt took it on his iPhone, looking up to what we had left to climb!

After hours of climbing, it started to get dark, and it looked like we were reaching the top. The girth of the stalk diminished slightly with each elevated foot and the plant swayed under our weight.  We had to be miles above ground! Finally, we saw the end of the stalk, and what appeared before our eyes was so fantastic, we nearly lost our grip on the vine and went tumbling down to earth. 

There, above the clouds, was a wonderous scene of blue and white with thousands of happy creatures frolicking and playing amidst cloud and sky. There were Koalas playing tag with chihuahuas, toucans flying figure eights with eagles, pot-bellied pigs dancing with swans, and closest to us we saw our boys wrestling playfully with a most adorable baby yak. And Linus, who was playing most spritefully, wore upon his blue-grey head, a golden crown. "Oh, it's beautiful," I said. Matt was speechless, a goofy smile appearing on his face. "Quick, give me my camera," I said to him, breaking his happy trance. I wanted to capture the scene, especially the group of toads that hopped in choreographed unison in the middle of a sparkling blue-green pond. Matt reached into his pack and pulled out our little camera and handed it to me. I began snapping photos of everything I could-- starting with the toads, and our boys with the yak. I then took pictures of the trio of marmosets sliding down a smiling giraffe's back and then a flock of fruit bats sharing the biggest pineapple I'd ever seen with an eldery panda couple. I took so many  wonderful pictures, but in my snapping frenzy I lost grip of our little camera and it plummeted down to the earth, taking the recorded images with it.

"Aw, shucks!" I exclaimed. "Now how is anyone going to believe this magical place?" We both looked at each other and then down the giant stalk from whence we came. "Well, " I said, "what do we do?  Should we grab our boys and head back down?" 

"Wait a minute," said Matt, gabbing my arm. "What if we don't go back? I mean, look at this place! We could just live here, couldn't we?!"

I hesitated, "What about law school? I love it so much, I don't know how I'd live without it!" At that we both exploded into laughter--the fullest most carefree laugh that anyone has ever laughed in the history of the world.  (So exhuberant, actually, we nearly lost our grip again.) 

And, so, still chuckling, we scrambled up the tip of the giant green stalk and tumbled onto the nearest soft, fluffy cloud. Sherpa, OB,  Linus (King of kitties) and our new yak-friend immediately joined the fray and we rolled around, pell mell, flipping and flopping  and frolicking about. When finally I stopped to catch my breath, I heard a faint chirping sound.  Looking up, I saw our little lemon-cream finch flitting around excitedly. He danced and dove in the sky above our heads, and I swear he had the biggest smile of welcome on his tiny beak.

And that's where we are to this very moment. This whole entry has been pecked out on Matt's iPhone (which has just about lost its charge...pity, no more posts or pictures from our magical utopia in the sky!)

I must go now, as Sherpa seems to be pinned down by a member of the flying fish quartet and I must go taunt him a bit.  And Matt is motioning me to join him in a swim in the Golden Grotto, where it looks like he wants to introduce me to a giant sea tortoise... Oh what a strange and marvelous day!

Happy April Fool's Day! 
hope yours was prank-tastic!


For more stories of real pranks and hoaxes pulled on this date through history, visit this blog. Enjoy! 


  1. You are an amazing writer, daughter n law. Keep it up.

  2. Thanks! Silliness for spring!