Writer’s Word of the Week : Pusillanimous | Birds in the Bush

Usually birds scatter when I enter the backyard, but today was different.  Several speckled, iridescent-black birds with yellow beaks had congregated on top of the backyard blueberry cages. They glared at me, their eyes accusatory, piercing and fierce as I approached.IMG_1841

“I know you’re upset about this,” I said soothingly, “but last year I didn’t get any blueberries. This year it’s my turn.”

Puffing out their feathers in a fluffing display, they spread their wings, rotating them in an aggressive manner as I continued moving towards them.

“Oh, stop!” I called loudly. “No need to be vulgar.”

I couldn’t very well expect them to be polite, after all, they were hungry starlings and rude behavior is pretty much the norm for them, but when I saw wild flutterings arising from inside the cages, I knew what was causing their aggressive posturing.  The birds were in protection mode.  Three young birds had pushed their way under the netting and were gorging themselves on MY berries.

IMG_1843Howling mad, I dropped the bowl I was carrying and sprinted towards my precious blue nuggets. Unzipping the netting I quickly provided an escape route for my feathered friends. Then I promptly zipped the blueberries back into their protective gear and secured the gaps the birds had made at the bottom of the structure to gain access to the fruit.

“You little devils,” I whispered as I bent to retrieve my bowl.  I heard an ugly squawk and felt something slap the back of my head.IMG_1847

Rubbing my noggin,  I cautiously straightened as more starlings massed onto the blueberry cages and fencing in my backyard.

Son of a gun!  This was not a good…not good at all!

Intent on teaching me a lesson, the starlings began to buzz me from behind, while their fellow bird brains loudly vocalized their support and approval.

Not wanting to be hit in the head again, and fearing I was in the birdie equivalent of the Colosseum, I was suddenly overcome by the most pusillanimous inclination, I ran to the house like a lily-livered coward, arms flapping protectively above my head. (Which brings me to the word pusillanimous. It is an adjective meaning: lacking courage, timid, weak, cowardly.)

I was bent over the kitchen sink, gasping loudly, when the hubster entered the kitchen. “How come you’ve got feathers in your hair? Were you playing Pocahontas in the backyard?”

“No, I was playing Tippi Hedron.”  I replied, turning to look at him. “Those birds out there just tried to peck my soul out through my eyes.”

“Ooooo.  Do it again.  This time I’ll watch from the window.”

I narrowed my eyes, pressed my lips together and glared. “Go away.”

The hubster wisely retreated.  Was it pusillanimous behavior on his part?  You be the judge.



6 thoughts on “Writer’s Word of the Week : Pusillanimous | Birds in the Bush

  1. It’s a wonder that you didn’t get “spotted” by these upset rascals! Loved the story though. Hub will forget it when he sinks his teeth into the blueberry delights what ever they be.

    • They “spotted” everywhere. I had to take a hose to the fence. Mimmie was right. They are dirty birds.

  2. Love it, birdy brains and all! Hmm, a pusillanimous hub? Perhaps the better word would be wise. And good for you for clearing out the nest. Here’s to blueberry pies, smoothies, jam, or whatever suits your taste. And, thanks for sharing the drama! 🙂

    • Blueberry pie for me, Lemon pudding blueberry cake for the hubster and I’m serving up the drama to everyone else! Lol!

  3. This is going to sound weird, but “pusillanimous” is one of my favorite words! When I worked at a day camp one year and the kids told me they were tired of playing “duck, duck, goose,” I invented a game called “pusillanimous, pusillanimous, rutabaga.” Same game, different words. They loved it.

    • That was very clever of you and a game I would have dearly loved to play! I’m crazy about the word!

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