Keep on knocking, but you can’t come in!


A good friend of mine from America has been here visiting for the last few days. Sadly, she had to leave yesterday and her plane was departing at 6:20. We live one hour from the airport, and she had to be there at least one hour before departure. Getting in our last hours of nonstop talking, we weren’t able to make it to bed before eleven and set the alarm clock for 4:00. Whenever I go to bed knowing I have to get up early and do something important (like driving someone to the airport) I always wake up before the alarm. I was awake at 3!

I returned home at 7:00, got my son off to school at 8:00, took the dogs and went back to bed. I woke up two hours later to a knocking sound on my window, which in turn caused the dogs to stir. I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep, but there was no convincing the dogs. Tap, tap, tap.  As the fog began to clear, curiosity got the best of me and I got up to find out what all the knocking was about.

It turned out to be a little brown sparrow striking the window. At first I found it somewhat amusing, but it didn’t take long before it became quite annoying. The dogs barked at the window and chased it away several times, but the bird was not about to give up. It was almost as if the little birdie were goading them. Tap, tap, tap. 

Having been gone from my computer this last week and with 250 e-mails to read, I decided to turn a deaf ear to my new feathered friend and get busy. Tap, tap, tap. But the bird was relentless. Tap, tap tap. It was time to release the hounds!

Two silky little, floppy eared, King Charles Spaniels scurried out the front door to chase the sparrow off. After a good ten minutes of barking I decided tapping had to be the lesser of two evils, and let them in. Giving up trying to work, I took a shower, did laundry, made the beds and vacuumed. Tap, tap, tap.

By now the dogs had given up and were fast asleep on the sofa. Tap, tap, tap. By mid afternoon I began to wonder if the Universe was somehow trying to relate a message to me through this tiny bird. I checked and saw all of my children had logged into facebook. Tap, tap, tap. I called my parents in America and asked about my ninety three-year-old grandmother, who is in the hospital with a collapsed lung. Tap, tap, tap. Everything seemed to be fine. Then I remembered hearing somewhere that a bird in the house meant a death in the family. Tap, tap, tap. Although he was not technically in the house I began to worry, my friend was flying back to America and my husband was flying home from a business trip. Tap, tap, tap!

I spent several hours trying to take a picture of the pesky little beast, because I figured no one would ever believe my story. The bird obviously didn’t want its picture taken because every time I tried, it would fly away to another window. I chased the damn thing from window to window snapping endless pictures of tail feathers flying off. If anyone saw me they would probably think I was crazy. Tap, tap, tap!

My persistence finally paid off and I got two good pictures of the bird and fifty-three pictures of various windows around my house. Tap, tap, tap. By the end of the day my friend had arrived safely in America and my husband safely home. The bird finally stopped tapping as dark set in, sometime around nine o’clock in the evening. I went to bed exhausted and thinking if the Universe was in fact sending me a message, it was probably that I was cuckoo. Tap, tap, tap.


Khloe on bird patrol

About maggiemyklebust

I grew up on the Jersey Shore and now live in Norway. I have also lived in Houston and the Netherlands. I have written a memoir called Fly Away Home.

Posted on April 27, 2012, in Stories in general and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 18 Comments.

  1. Made my day! Thanks for the humour!

  2. How cute. I’m glad you are able to capture the photo.

  3. or persistent!

  4. annie siersema potter

    sure wish i was there to see this! lol! enjoyed my visit with you my friend! thank you so much for the wonderful vacation! it was a long way back home to the usa- but happy to be back home with my family! i thought it was the mate of the other bird you found in your yard.. your mom gave me a call to see how i enjoyed my trip that’s when she told me about this story! happy to hear everyone was fine! miss you and that beautiful view from your window! xoxo

  5. Miss Footloose

    Oh, I know how that bird must have driven you nuts! I had the same experience, except my bird was a huge woodpecker tapping on my bedroom window, which was across from a tree that he was busy destroying. He’d catch his own reflection and thinking it was an enemy invading his territory he’d fly at the window and started pecking at it.

    It took me several days, but eventually I got a photo. We hung a big plastic bag on the tree to ward him off, and that took care of it. He then went to the neighbors and started annoying them, and actually broke one of the side view mirrors of their car. The insurance paid and filed it under “vandalism.”

    Thanks for your fun post 😉

  6. “I got two good pictures of the bird and fifty-three pictures of various windows…” Oh Maggie, this made me laugh so hard, thank you for that. It is mysterious as to what the birdie was doing. What a relentless little creature! No little bugs on windows outside that might have invited nibbling? Hope you’ve caught up on your sleep, and recovered from your whirlwind travels. It is good to have you and your stories back! ~ Lily

  7. Your dog looks suitably unimpressed and what a wonderful way to illustrate your post with these fab pics! I love it went crazy, weird things happen. It’s a special, intimate experience just for you and that’s wonderful!

    I would have been wondering about the bird, have heard a saying that if one hits your window (I’ve always interpreted that as flies into it) someone you know might die… I think he was just trying to make friends! I would not have had the ability you did to just persevere with the picture chasing! I would have had to invite him in, maybe offered him tea or a few nuts! 🙂

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