A persistent “cheep cheep” draws my attention away from the newspaper I am skimming through. I look out of the window.
A bird is tearing off tiny bits of moss from the stick that supports a vine, now dry. Its companion perched on the grill is making all the noise. They look like sparrows.
Sparrows? Isn’t the plumage a little too dark? I put my tea down. Maybe I will click a photo and share it with my friend. He will know. Or I will just google it. My phone is at hand.
Then I let it be. The birds are so close, but they are not even looking at me, forget looking up my species. Let them remain nameless for now. Knowledge can wait.
They are intent on their task. But they are not good at stealing. Else they would have done it in silence.
Stealing? Why do I think they are stealing? They need moss for their nest. They find it here. They are taking it, a tiny beakful at a time. They will stop when they have enough for their little nest.
The moss they are taking, the stick the moss is tied to, the soil in which the stick is stuck, the pot containing the soil and the vine (which I discover is beginning to grow again) —I had bought it all. I wonder if the vine knows it belongs to me.
I return to the newspaper. It is all about the moss. There is enough for all. If only we just gather what we need, the headlines would be so much happier.