My 100 pound German shepherd was having a tantrum.  Even from the back bedroom where I was getting ready for work, I could hear her snarls and heavy bouncing between the sofas as she scooted them a bit each time she landed.  My husband’s shouts verified it.

“We have a problem!”

Half-dressed, I ran into the living room only to have something dive-bomb my head.

“What the devil…!”

Making another pass, it circled through again.

A bird–a small sparrow–now perched on the half-wall between our living room and kitchen where the ceiling soars to two stories in height.

Using a sofa as a springboard, our dog was still trying to yank it from the air.

“Get her to the garage,” I suggested.  “Then I’ll cut the lights and see if I can coax the bird out.”

The front door was already open due to my husband’s desire to absorb the atmosphere without actually stepping out onto the front porch.  We get the local weather, but there’s just something a bit more special about the way he judges this for himself–(also the reason the bird was in the house to begin with.)

While he corralled our adorable pet, I opened the deck doors and proceeded to turn out the lights and shut doors along the hallway to keep the sparrow as localized as possible. Naturally, after putting our dog in the garage, my husband turned all the lights back on, frightening the bird into another flight stream behind me, into a bedroom.

“It’s back here,” I called out to him.

The poor thing was sitting up on the curtain rod, its little chest beating wildly, probably thinking we were all nuts and wishing it was back outside far more than we did.

“I’ll just raise the window,” I said.  But as soon as I touched the curtains, the bird took flight, landing somewhere in the closed-off room.

I didn’t think it was a problem, but you know what my husband did.  Yep.  He turned on the lights because he couldn’t see it.

Once again, taking to the air, it then landed…


I can still feel the sensation of its tiny little bird feet gripping onto me through my leggings.

Freaking out a bit now, I’m yanking on the rarely opened window until my fingers are aching.  “I can’t budge it,” I say.

That’s when Tony saved the day and I realized how crazed I had become.

“Well, it would help if you unlocked it,” he laughed.

Sure enough, after twisting the locks to the open position, the window opened right up, and the sparrow was more thrilled than we were to be back out into the sane world.

One tiny feather was all that was lost, no droppings–thankfully!

I don’t know if this has meaning.  I believe Tuesday was also China’s New Year.  So perhaps it’s a good omen.  (Don’t tell me if it’s a bad one.)

Have you ever had a bird, or other wild creature, in your house?  If so, how did you get it out?  I’d love tips for next time.

Renee Johnson is the author of Acquisition, and The Haunting of William Gray.  She is currently working on a Young Adult novel, while editing a suspense novel which has international flair–an homage to her love of travel and foreign food.  She lives on a farm in North Carolina with her husband, Tony Johnson, and one very spoiled German shepherd named Gretel.