The good luck bird…May 11, 2010
We have a new guest at the bed & breakfast. Thankfully this guest doesn’t need a bed, towels, a mirror or a clean bathroom. Since this bedroom is currently being tiled and repainted, none of these things are available. This guest sleeps on the chandelier or perched on the curtain rod. Our guest is a hirondelle or a swallow.
For the past few days the bird has circled around the cave, flying in and out evaluating places to build her nest. When Raphael first saw her he was thrilled saying that a hirondelle is a sign of life, a good omen for the house. The myth behind the swallow says that she arrives for the day of the Annunciation in March and stays until the nativity of the Virgin Mary on September 8th bringing happiness to the house in which she chooses to make her nest. For Raphael, a believer in signs and possessing a stong faith with a special sentiment for the Virgin Mary, our new resident is a sign of good things to come.
While I’m not too keen on this bird building a nest in a bedroom, I’m okay if she relocates to the old cave. The problem I think is Kitty, who has discovered the bird and makes an odd mewing sound while jumping from one place to another in an effort to catch it. My father-in-law is certain that if we let the bird stay and make her nest, the cat will soon have a meal out of her. Raphael disagrees insisting that the swallow is too intelligent to get caught. It’s true, she seems unaffected by the cat, perched, as she is, on the light fixture, looking from side to side, her long forked tail pointing down between the lightbulbs. I opened the window last nigh hoping she would fly out. But the girls, excited with this new toy, kept closing the window when I left the room. Raphael assured them the swallow was not going anywhere last night. She feels safer in the house with us than out in the dark and rain. He was right. This morning she was still there when we woke, flying out the still open window around 8am, most likely off to search for breakfast.
The window has been closed most of the day and the old cave as well. I did see her sitting with another swallow, her mate perhaps, near the cave when I returned home from the school run. She flew off shortly after. As evening falls, and with the bedroom window once again open to allow the paint to dry, I’m wondering if she’ll return for the night.