---and the bird is on the wing. Went right past me, a gray blur smaller than a pigeon but disconcertingly close as I exited my front door.
"Whoa!" Two of my kids and I were rushing to catch the tram, they to go to school and I to teach an early morning class, and I wondered why a little gray bird would dive bomb my navel. It left no calling cards, but the incident thrust me into an unpleasant recollection of a time when I'd been waiting for a train in Paddington Station, London, and a pigeon had dropped a load right on my head. You should have seen the way five or six genteel British ladies whipped out hankies and Kleenexes and dabbed ineffectively at my head. I'd been on my way to the British library to do some research, and my first stop there was the ladies room, where I washed my hair in their institutional hand soap, before leaving to take my coat to a dry cleaners.
Our little gray bird turned out to be living inside our newspaper mailbox, which was fortunately free of newspapers. By the time it rushed at me, the bird had already built a nest of brown leaves, and laid a bunch of eggs. So we are all waiting to see them hatch, and hope that they'll dine on the wasps and hornets who like to set up housekeeping under our eaves about this time of year.