Well, it turns out, that Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal made their lovely nest in the big bush right next to the front door. The door that Tigger the Dog exits multiple times a day. Not really a problem for them initially. She wasn’t interested in them and they knew she couldn’t reach their new somewhat shiny home so after the first few startled flutters they ignored the whole routine.
And then Tigger the Dog murdered that chipmunk and her goal in life became getting another. She would tremor with excitement every time we opened the door and all but bust through the storm door to get at them, running full speed around the house to catch one unawares. Which was not a problem for the chipmunks or us. She never was fast enough to catch one and her galloping gave everyone enough warning to flee to whatever hole was closest until the threat was gone.
And then it rained for three straight weeks and the ground around the house was a mud pit worthy of Woodstock. Then Tigger the Dog's murderous hunting routine of chasing beasties around the house would result in digging and sliding and generally covering herself in muck. We couldn’t let her out the back because that’s where the buggers were hiding and so that’s where the biggest holes were. We couldn't let her out the front because she would ignore her bathroom needs and just take off through the mud hunting. A simple “Tigger, need a pee?” became a routine of putting on a leash and restraining eighty pounds of pissed off dog down the steps to the lawn and then back.
All of this excitement meant that now Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal had a house next to a noisy grumbling pair of grown-ups shouting “NO!” and “TIGGER THE DOG!” and generally being shit neighbors. No longer content to ignore us, they would fly off in a flit cussing as they left. That didn't work. We kept coming out and making noise so they tried the invisible sit and hid in the nest, which worked for a day or two. But the dang chipmunks started teasing Tigger the Dog and running to the opposite side of the steps and hiding under the Cardinal's bush resulting in some leaf shaking and more digging and shouting. Not at all the neighborhood they had moved into.
And now it seems like Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal given up and left the bush all together. The nest is empty and quiet and it’s led me to this question: At what point do you decide that the big dog and the even bigger and louder people are not worth your pain and efforts to create a home and just leave?
At what point do you give up on your dreams? At what point do you walk away?
I don't have an answer. Apparently, for the Mr. and Mrs., it's three weeks of rain and screaming and digging and general chaos. For me? Well, who knows? Perhaps this is the lesson I'm needed to learn.
Deep mucky thoughts.