The Stone In The Birdbath

    There is a curious thing happening in my backyard, not that that is unusual. It could be just coincidence, maybe some sort of game or perhaps someone has a habitual need of some kind. There is always the possibility it just happens. I don’t necessarily believe in ‘it just happened’ but I could be wrong. For whatever reason, someone leaves a stone in my birdbath.

    They come in different colors red, blue, black, striped or mottled, shiny or dull, round or angular. The only thing uniform about them is their size, about a half an inch in diameter.

     If I leave it in the bath, it remains and none are added. But if I take it, the stone is replaced the next day. Apparently, there is a rule somewhere that only one stone is allowed at a time.

    My first thought was pedestrian and I questioned the usual suspects in my yard. “Who keeps making a mess in the birdbath?”

    Of course nobody answered me but as I looked down at the stone resting in the water I noticed it was a particular little rock; black and shiny with chiseled angles that caught the light. One that was a bit unique. Something a crow would find pleasing.

    My mind immediately goes to a pair of crows that bring their single baby everyday to the yard to eat the corn I put out and I am pretty sure they are guilty party.

    But guilty of what?  Why leave a stone in the birdbath?

    It’s true they used to love to antagonize the girls when the yard was filled with dogs. They would wait until the kids were napping in the shade of the silver maple, then drop to the ground, hop over quietly and yank whatever hair was available without getting too close to the business end of the dog. Then they would fly off while Ammulett or Echo were still wondering what happened. They never tried the game with Vision. Vision is a huntress of the highest caliber and would never be in a position where she could be ‘snuck up’ on. At least not by any ‘yard’ neighbor.

    Now the girls are all somewhere else but the crows still come to gather the spoils of a well- stocked feeder and dependable water.

    I’m thinking it is a gift. A little gem that someone has picked out just for the my birdbath. A little token of thanks for the corn or maybe a peace offering for teasing the girls that no longer bless my  yard. The reason doesn’t really matter, only the event is important.

    So I have a special place in the ferns next to the house where I will keep all the little stones gifted to me. Each day it will grow until someday there will be a bed of stone mulch covering the plantings. A small ‘thank you’ garden of various colors and textures carefully chosen by whoever leaves them and for whatever reason they have decided. For me it is a reminder that life cannot be looked at as a whole thing, but as all the tiny pieces that come together, some prettier than others but all required to complete the picture.


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