Tough Day for Bubba

Looking out the kitchen window, I saw the fattest robin ever sitting in our Japanese dogwood. Bubba Redbreast looked, well, fat and happy as he surveyed his domain with a speculative eye. I could about read the thought bubble above his head: she will like this. It’s got a good school district and great views. She’s gonna pick me.

Bubba in all his glory

A few days later I heard robin chirps outside the window. I’m no bird expert, but can tell the difference between wooing and warring. Racing to the window, I spied Bubba, feet out, locked in mortal combat with another male robin. The second lad was taller and thinner; they were probably equal in body mass, just differently distributed.

They flew up in the air, toes clenched on each other, little wings working overtime. I think the challenger (Chad) might have disengaged from the sheer shock of helping to lift Bubba in the air.

“Branch me, this dude’s heavy!”

They flew apart, landed, turned their backs on one another. Bubba stayed close to the prized dogwood. Chad hopped around in an agitated manner, eyeing it, looking at Bubba, stepped closer.

In bird body language, Bubba rolled up the sleeves on his wings. Don’t ask me to describe this.

“You and what army, Chad?!” Bubba screamed—okay, chirped—and it was on again.

Chad went for the eyes. Bubba went for the butt hole. Chad went straight up into the air as Bubba scored a direct hit. Descending, he tried to headlock Bubba but, you know, Bubba’s head matches the rest of him and Chad didn’t have the claw circumference.

Bubba clearly thought the tree—and the girl it would impress—was a prize worth having. I began to wonder if Chad were actually after the tree, or the same cute little girl robin.

I’ll never know. As Chad and Bubba started round 3, a male cardinal flew into the dogwood. Watching the two robins tire themselves out, he clapped his wings in glee, shook his tail feathers, and emitted a cheerful song, translating thus: “Hey honey, it’s vacant! Come on down!”

A femme fatal cardinal arrived, svelte and poised, to perch on a higher branch. She eyed the fighting robins, rolled her eyes, and offered her man a tail feather flutter that sent him straight off his branch. By the time Chad and Bubba ended round six, the pair had a base going, he flying in with materials, she placing them in a secure branch fork.

Bubba finally saw Chad off, and turned, exhausted, to his prize. Mr. Cardinal puffed up and gave him a “whatcha gonna do about it” thousand yard stare. Mrs. Cardinal gave a sympathetic chirp, but couldn’t help adding, “Didn’t your mother teach you, fighting never solved anything?”

I haven’t seen Bubba since.

Menu, Sir?

Jack just gets over the line – –

This has been a fraught kind of week –

We have had three different things going on – Buying a new car, trying to sort out problems with our Scottish bank account and transferring my teacher pension payments to our American bank account.

The main problem is that I needed to phone Scotland for the last two but my phone doesn’t do international calls unless you buy an additional $10 card. I did but it didn’t work and they don’t do refunds! We also wasted hours trying to get help to no avail!!

Straight Talk are cheap and fine for calls in the US but they are useless for anything else.

So I drove down to a friend in North Carolina, stayed with them overnight and used his phone yesterday morning. The pension change took just fifteen minutes and was easy. The bank problem took two hours being constantly cut off and having to go back in and go through the interminable menu over again. Each time a different person, so the whole rigmarole over again too. Finally, we got an explanation and this morning we may have finally made some progress on-line.

Of course the four-hour time difference didn’t help although it moves to five hours again next week – –

But the car is great and that’s a relief.