Friday, February 25, 2011

First Time I Ever met Drew

Drew is another of Laura's two older brothers, and this is how I met him.  I hope he doesn't remember it, but I can never forget.

A stupid or desperate pair of sparrows had built their nest in a shrub just outside the window of our family room, within easy reach of any cat or raccoon or other predator.  I had been keeping a sharp eye on it for weeks, to keep the hatchlings safe, when one afternoon I heard a huge commotion coming from the shrub.  I glanced out the window and there was Zeffie, a solid black cat from next door, sitting on the window sill, gazing deeply at the nest.  The nest was empty.

I raced outside, screaming at Zeffie and I have to tell you, the volley of obscenities that flew out of my mouth would have done a politician proud.  I was stretching my arm out to knock that cat down from the windowsill when a small, soft voice behind me said, "I'm sorry if my cat has been bothering you..."  and whirling around, I saw Drew, four years old, licking a popsicle.

"Well, I suppose it isn't really Zeffie's fault," I said, trying to calm down.  "I'm sorry.  She was only doing what cats do.   It's just - just - well, I wonder if your mom could keep her inside for a few days."

Something in my peripheral vision moved, and when I looked, it was one of the baby birds.  Drew and I hastened toward it to pick up this lone survivor and put it back in the nest or else I would raise it myself; but as I approached, it took flight and went all the way up to the top of a tall tree.  And turning our necks upward to where it sat, we noticed that all three of its siblings were up there, too.

Zeffie hadn't gotten a single one of them.  In fact, she hadn't caused the commotion at all.  She had simply been attracted to the scene by the ruckus the fledglings themselves had made, venturing out into the world for the first time.  Zeffie had only been a fascinated but innocent onlooker.

When he became a teenager, Drew used to mow and trim our lawn.  He's in college now, his mom tells us, where he is something of a football star.

Zeffie, having lived into old age, is buried out in the back yard.  There was a cross marking her grave until the house went up for sale.  I don't suppose the family living there now are aware of it.

We love you and miss you, Drew!