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The Netflix movie, “Birdbox", is causing a craze everywhere. Now I haven’t watched it nor do I have Netflix, so, I am getting ready to show off my intelligence. You can thank me later. But I had a bird in a box once…well, actually in South Carolina a birdbox is called a cage. I had a birdbox once…actually, it was my sister’s. She had a canary. I loved that bird – well, except when the sun rose and it sang. Never did know if it was a he or she, so let’s say we had a gender-neutral Canary named, Tweetie Bird.

I also didn’t love it when I had to clean its cage, feed it or listen to it sing the other 23 hours in a day after sunrise. Okay, okay, so, I wasn’t flipped out over the bird. As a matter of fact, I’ve never even been fond of the outdoors, so, why did we attempt to bring the outdoors indoors? In this part of the story, names have been changed to protect the innocent. And, this story gets graphic so if your stomach is queasy or you think I will say your name, stop reading now. Anywho, my sister, nicknamed Deedle, (oops, said her name!) wanted the bird. Of course – being the baby of the family she got it. Our family could not even afford a bucket of KFC chicken…yet she got a bird and a nice birdbox. (I mean cage.)

Well, she was invited to spend the night with her grandmother, Mammy (oops said another name, y’all forgive me, you know I don’t mean to.) Certainly, that meant someone had to keep the bird and of course my older brother, Danny, (goodness I’ve got to stop doing that) quickly volunteered…ME! That is the day I decided I would make the most of it because I have always believed perspective is everything. I decided to become one with the bird in his birdbox.

I wanted to go outside to swing on our wobbly metal swing set but in my attempts to befriend all of nature, I took that birdbox with me and yes, the bird was in it. I knew I needed to keep that bird close and up high just in case Sylvester was on the prowl. (For those of you born after 1960, 1970 or even 1980 that was definitely a generational cat joke. Sorry, now back to my story.) I hooked the cage onto the top chain link of my swing. (Yes, I agree – probably not one of my most stellar moments and I probably should have realized that it was not going to work.) Being very cautious, I started swinging slowly – you know – to give the bird some sea legs (or should I say swing wings), and then I took off. When I got as high as the wobbly swing would take me, that’s the moment I realized that the hook did not close on the swing. As my legs leapt to touch the sky, Tweetie and the birdbox took off for the clouds. Yep, the whole birdbox cage went airborne. Unfortunately, Tweetie’s wings did not.

That box soared and finally crash landed on our concrete patio. Fortunately, the impact did not cause the birdbox to swing open, so I catapulted (not-so-gracefully) off the swing and landed spread eagle. Then I quickly got up, brushed myself off, and sprinted to Tweetie. As I looked in the birdbox, the good news was that I didn’t see any blood. However, the bad news was I had never seen a bird lying on the floor of a cage before. You got it … I killed the bird. I picked the cage up, and immediately began to cry because I had never killed anything. I rushed to my bedroom where I found my white New Testament Bible, then remembered that Psalm 23 was in the Old Testament. I raced to the den where I looked in the drawer of our old coffee table. It was there I found our “family sized,” Bible, dusted it off and turned to the 23rd Psalm. I began to recite the Psalm and wept as I read, “Ye, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.” Not understanding the verses yet, I did something in that moment that I still do today: For the first time ever I personalized Scripture. I made it Tweetie Bird’s own Psalm. I recited, “Ye, when Tweetie Bird flies through the valley of the shadow of death like a rocket launched into space, I sure hope it didn’t fear any evil…’cause it was me.”

I finished up Tweetie’s eulogy and ran to the kitchen to grab a wad of napkins, (I wasn’t going to touch that dead bird!) went back to my bedroom, got a shoe box and headed back outside. That’s the only Birdbox story I know and as a matter of fact, Tweetie still is in it. Only that birdbox has a special name on it…Keds. And to the best of my knowledge it’s still in the ground. So…do you think I need to watch the movie?

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