By Jack Spaulding
One Sunday morning before Christmas, as my wife and I were sitting down to lunch, my sister Mary Jo called from her home in Ingalls, Indiana.
“You’ll never guess who dropped in to see me this morning,” she began. “I was still in bed when I heard something flutter by my head. I looked up, and there on my dresser was a little tiny bird … a Carolina Wren.
“It was friendly enough, because it flew off the dresser and landed on the covers right next to me,” she continued. “I shooed it away, and it flew into the kitchen.”
“What are the odds?” I exclaimed.
That same morning, I told her, I saw what I thought was a big round leaf on our screened-in back porch. Then it hopped. It, too, was a little fat Carolina Wren bustling about. As I started to turn away, I saw a second wren perched on the screened window. My twosome must have roosted in the eve of the porch the evening before. When morning came, they exited on the enclosed porch side. Their dilemma now appeared to be finding a way out.
Before setting off for church, I propped the screen door partially open. When we came home, our Carolina Wren visitors had found their way out.
My sister said she tried the same. She followed hers to the kitchen and propped open a door. But, instead of going out the door, “It flew off the kitchen counter and landed in the Christmas tree,” she said.
She’d done laundry the night before, and seeing the basket still in the living room, she said she grabbed the first ordnance she could find. “I tried to flush it out of the Christmas tree by throwing some rolled up socks at the tree. It finally came out and landed on the chandelier,” she said. Then she sternly told the bird, “It is time for you to go!
“And danged if the little feller didn’t fly right out the door,” she reported.
Apparently, my sister’s feathered friend gained access through the dog door leading outside.
Thinking the wave of intruding wrens must be because of a mid-winter migration, I was surprised to find Carolina Wrens don’t migrate. They actually expand their range slightly during fall and into the winter. They are brave little birds and are well known for flying into open garages and porches looking for food.
According to folklore, being visited by a wren is uplifting and inspirational. Guess I need to call Mary Jo back to find out if that lore still holds true if you chase them off by socking it to them with stern words and balled socks.
JACK SPAULDING is a syndicated state outdoors writer and a member of RushShelby Energy. Readers can email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jack’s first book, “The Best of Spaulding Outdoors,” a compilation of his favorite articles over 30 years is now available as a Kindle download or as a 250-page paperback from Amazon.com.