Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Something Scratching

Emil and I were here alone on Saturday night when I heard something scratch at the front door.
Now there is no step up to the front door, as it’s been set back a foot or two for a year or more, waiting for Scott to take the new siding from where it is stacked inside an outbuilding and put it onto the house. For more than two years it has waited, and I have begun to "nag." It's well past time.
But back to the matter at hand.
Neither of our dogs would scratch at the front door, which we never use, so it would have to be Sarah from the other farm; she comes over whenever something scares her, like rifle shot or thunder. But she wouldn’t be able to reach the front door without a step there.
I looked through the glass and saw nothing unusual, but it was already dark so what would I see anyway?
            Hm. As I turned away, another scratching and scrabbling, this time at the window behind me! What the hell! And again, nothing there.
            That made me nervous. Had someone walked into the farmyard, where our dog would be too busy wagging her tail to announce anyone by barking, and was now trying to scare me, thinking it was a joke to throw things at the windows and door? Had Scott driven in unnoticed and thought he’d rattle my chain?
            If so, or if we had any friends like that, who thought it would be funny to terrorize a woman on a farm at night, I wouldn’t be amused. I went to the porch and locked the door, just in case. You never know who could be out there in the dark, and maybe I could buy myself enough time to phone for help before they got inside. Yeah, my imagination wasn't making a lot of sense. If the house was to be stormed, why would anyone bother giving me fair warning? But I didn't think of that till later.
            As I returned to the kitchen, there it was again, that scratching and scrabbling at the window, and this time I saw what it was: a small white and grey bird. What the hell was it doing, smacking into my lit windows at night?
Still, a relief.
And not a robin; even better, as a robin trying to get into your window is a portent of a death, and apparently I am more superstitious than one would ever guess. My sister Karen had a robin persistently at her kitchen window at the time we were reeling with the news of Mom's terminal cancer diagnosis, and it was too much of a coincidence to be ignored. 

Harvest has been halted following the rainy weekend. 


  1. Kate, I have had similar experiences! One of them really did involve "someone" being out there. I was living alone with my girls in downtown Toronto, it was late at night, when the motion detector light went on beside the kitchen window, then the shadow of a male with a board trying to break the light was visible. The police were there in under four minutes, and the individual was gone. I had a quite a few nights after that where every noise I heard was a potential cause for concern. I never really slept easily again until Attila and I were together.

  2. Gawd! Glad I didn't read this when my fella was away. Don't know what I'd do. Like you, when fear enters, common sense leaves. Wonder what the bird wanted?

    1. Yes it was weird. Birds hit the windows during the day, but at night ... it's a first.


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