When a small bird flies into the room.

It happens to the best of us. You’re sitting on the couch doing crossword puzzles, and a bird flies thwop into the window next to you. What a noisy distraction! Perhaps then it flies back, dazed, in the opposite direction, out of the room—hooray! But then, harder, again into the window. Now, the dog is running in circles, jumping, barking in murderous elation. What can you do?

-First, scream. This will freak out the dog, the bird, and you, getting the whole team on the same page.
-Jump up and run around with the dog for a moment, getting her extra riled up. Take your eyes off the bird so you won’t know from which direction it may next appear.
-When the bird comes at the window again, if it is within 5 feet of you, scream again and bob up and down several times. If you only duck, the bird may run right into you; stay a moving target.
-The bird has likely broken some parts of itself by this point. Go ahead and begin feeling guilty. This is your fault.
-The bird is probably now lying inert in some weird corner of the room. You’ll know which one because the dog will be barking and scrambling to climb over things to get at the bird. Verify the bird’s location, and then close off any doors to other rooms. This will help everyone feel trapped.
-When you are done, the bird will have somehow moved. It could be anywhere! Cover yourself with something large but a little see through, like a loosely woven blanket. Be sure to cover your face and head entirely, because that scary little bird is going to fly right at you.
-Shove things around a bit until the bird flies terrifyingly up and into the air around your face and head. Scream and run out of the room, still under your blanket.
-Now, stand in the doorframe and make a sort of screen out of the blanket, holding it up in front of you and peering through. Look, the bird is flying around again! Not so broken after all. Go ahead and prop open the front door to the house, in case the bird can be reasoned with. The neighbors will also be able to hear your screams and call the police if need be.
-Do you want your dog to eat the bird?! Get back under the blanket and into the room!
– Follow the dog around until she locates her defenseless prey. Remove the dog from the room.
-That fucking bird moved again! Where is it now? It’s probably going to just die in the room and you’ll know where it is by the smell.
-Okay: start to look under couches. Careful—stay covered. Maybe just an arm out from the blanket to lift the fabric flap of the couch skirt and peek under.
-Go ahead and move all the furniture around a bit, just in little six inch shoves. It’s got to fly out from somewhere. Stay scared—your fear may be all that saves you.
-Ok, let the dog back in to find the bird.
-Why is the dog climbing all over the couch to get at that little wadded up piece of paper on the table? That’s a receipt. She’s lost her mind!
-Oh, the bird is also on the table.
-When you realize that the dog has the bird in her mouth, this is your time to really lose it! Scream, flap your arms, just get hysterical. Those are feathers flying around! Feathers carry diseases. Also, you’re pretty awful for letting your dog kill a bird, aren’t you?
-Okay—she dropped it, way before you stopped flapping, and there it is somehow clinging to the side of the couch with its probably broken legs. Find an important box, like the one Bill has to use to send his broken phone back to Verizon in, and clamp it over the bird. When it sort of falls in, quickly close the flaps and run outside like you know what you are going to do next.
-Good. Outside. Now, you can really think about how you let this little animal die. Or not even die—just be broken and shocked and nearly eaten, praying for death. It’s probably dead, right? Lift a flap of the important box.
-Ha! Still moving. So it’s just broken and probably terrified, and it’s not going to live. How can you even think about putting it in the trash can, what is wrong with you? Ugh.
-Give up and walk over to the side of the yard, and sort of fling it out of the box.
-Holy shit, it’s sort of flying! Hurry, turn around and run back into the house before you see how far it gets. It’s probably fine! Nice work, everyone.
-You may notice that it feels for an hour or so like you have feathers in your throat. Well, you do, and you deserve them.

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