Monday, September 17, 2012


Dear Mom,

The other day I was looking out at the pond, I noticed all these black birds. I’m not sure if they are called black birds. They look black from a distance, but when you look close, you can see they have a shiny blue head. One, two, three… twenty-one, twenty-two… and then I stopped counting and became just slightly freaked out.

Remember… oh, I’m not sure if Warren ever told you. He was babysitting Ruthie and me when you and dad went out one evening. He wanted to party with his friends, but needed to get Ruthie and me to bed somehow, but it was too early. We were watching TV when the movie, The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock came on.

We were just getting into it when Warren stepped in front of the TV. “You’re not watching this.”

Ruth and I wailed. “Get out of the way! We want to watch it!”

“No! It’s too scary.”

We did more whining. “We won’t be scared. Let us watch it.” We both continued to whine until he spoke.

"All right, all right. I’ll let you watch it on one condition.” Since he was the older brother, and in charge at this point, we didn’t have much choice.


“If you get scared, you have to go to bed.”

We agreed, he stepped aside, and we totally got into it. Ruthie and I were shoulder-to-shoulder, eyes glued to the TV. Warren watched us, just waiting for the right moment to…

Jump out and yell, “BOO!”

Ruthie and I screamed at the top of our lungs, grabbed one another. Warren threw his shoulders back, “That’s it, time for bed.” He turned off the TV and shoo’d us up the stairs to our bedroom.

We mumbled, “That was no fair. YOU scared us, not the movie.”

“You were still scared. I said if you were scared, you’d have to go to bed.”

Ruthie and I weren’t the saltiest crackers in the package and didn’t argue. Off to bed we went.

I watched The Birds when I was older and I’m pretty sure it was a good thing we only saw a small part of it back then. When I see a swarm of black birds gathering, I think of The Birds and my heart races a little.

I got brave and stepped outside to snap some photos of the black birds with their shiny blue heads. They flew off, one by one or in groups. There had to be hundreds. Really. And out of all of them, I only caught one on film. You can barely see him, but if you look right in the middle of the photo, you might spot its shiny blue head, just above the grassy plant and in the shadow of the bushes. If the birds had started gathering one by one on the deck, you can bet I would’ve ran inside and boarded up the windows!


  1. Hmm, we have so many crows here, it's scary. I was thinking of "The Birds" just last night when a huge black cloud of crows was flying over the city right above my head. They freak the heck out of me!

    I love that story of when you wanted to first watch the movie. And your brother did the right thing, even if he had ulterior motives. :)

  2. When I see a bunch sitting on wires at the stop light, I too think of Hitchcock's masterpiece.

    I loved the phrase "Ruthie and I weren't the saltiest crackers in the package." That's one I've never come across.

    I also have a vivid memory of the first time I saw the movie. I was really too young for it, so it terrified me, and I watched it at a family friend's home with lenient teenagers "in charge" of me.

  3. I first watched that movie as an adult, and would never again be able to look at a flock of birds without my heart racing a little bit as you mentioned! What a cute story and a clever brother. Mean, but clever - to you salty little girls!

  4. saltiest cracker...what a great phrase! Those birds are starlings,a nd they're baaaaack. BOO!

  5. I was living in Boston when I saw Hitchcock's "The Birds." One lunch hour, I was strolling across the Boston Commons with some friends...a huge flock of starlings and pigeons swarmed along the sidewalk -- strutted right at us -- scared us to death!

    But YOUR starling is lovely, beautiful...

  6. For me the scary movie was a black & white B movie called "The Brain That Wouldn't Die." I still remember some of the scenes. That darn movie scared the bejeepers out of me.

    We have a lot of birds here but none that flock like that, although I have had upwards of 20-30 crows in my front yard early in the morning. They don't stick around though and fly off as soon as the front door opens.

  7. Hitchcock is a master of suspense and "The Birds" ranks right up at the top for scary stuff.

    Of course, big brothers can be pretty scary, too.

    Critter Alley

  8. Hi Lynn, what a beautiful picture! The Birds was a very scary movie. I think about it occasionally myself. I wonder what made them swarm and attack that town anyway?

    What a great story about your brother tricking you two.

    Kathy M.

  9. Hey Everyone - looks like The Birds scared a lot of folks! Loved hearing your comments.

  10. Yep, add me to that list! I love to watch birds and take pictures of long as they're not attacking me! :)


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