There’s a bluebird on my shoulder…


In spite of a lurking cat and a lunging dog, the bluebirds have nested in one of the two houses nailed to my fence outside my kitchen door.   Aren’t they the brave ones?

Bluebirds hold a special significance with me.   I wasn’t a Girl Scout, or even a Brownie, but I proudly claim my place as a former Bluebird.  I don’t think Campfire Girls even exist anymore.  The Bluebirds were the entry level girls.  I was six, and we wore navy skirts, white blouses, bright red vests, and a navy beanie on our heads.  We sold peanut brittle instead of cookies.  I still love wearing red.

My grandmother used to sing “Zippity-Do-Dah” to me, and we would lean into each other at the “there’s a bluebird on my shoulder” part.  I inherited a glass bluebird paperweight from her.  And then there’s my aunt’s tattoo.  She was eighty when she got the bluebird tattooed on her left shoulder.  Hoo-boy.  My mother (who should have been the tattoo kind) did not hold that move in high esteem, but I loved the idea of Auntie Rae being so rebellious at such a late stage in life.  It was an example to me of it never being too late for anything.

Bluebirds make me feel happy.  This isn’t the first nest of bluebirds at my tiny house.  It is just the first one of this year, very late though it is.  Last year, the mama dive-bombed my little dog, Hattie when she played grab-and-run with one of the fledglings who had the misfortune of standing by my back steps.  I thought there wouldn’t be any bluebirds this year, that the cat and dog had deterred them from our place.

Imagine my delight this morning.  Four vivid bluebirds were lined up on the fence, waiting for a choice worm, or a chance to practice flying, or whatever bluebirds wait to do.  I watched them for a while, surprised they came so late to the nesting box.  I shouldn’t be surprised, though.  There is no timetable.  It is never too late.


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