Last autumn, I was preparing to ride my bike home after work when I discovered a tiny chickadee sitting on the ground by the bike rack. It appeared stunned; it must have been a window strike. I stooped over and gently lifted the bird off the ground to see if it was injured.
No sooner had I straightened than a professor in my department burst out of the doors and swept up to the bike rack. He began chatting with me amiably as he unlocked his bike…I can’t remember what he was talking about now, because I was staring at him in bemusement the whole time, wondering if he was going to notice that I was standing there with a blank look on my face and a chickadee perched on my finger.
Then, looking me straight in the eye, he said, “Have a nice evening!” and pedaled away. The chickadee and I exchanged a glance. He either hadn’t noticed, or hadn’t cared that I was holding a wild bird during our conversation.
This has been a short story, by SOIMF.
(The chickadee eventually recovered and flew to a nearby tree to recuperate. It seemed none the worse for the wear.)