I live across the street from a park. (This is not a surprising thing for those who know me; I seem to always live across the street from a park. And fire house. Anyway.) I tend to cut through it when running errands, because why wouldn’t you, if you lived across the street from a park?
This evening, I was cutting through to indulge in two bad habits – wine, and takeout – and I ended up terrorizing a robin in the process.
The park is edged by a chain link fence on two sides, and I was walking down one side after having already cut through the baseball diamond. On the other side of the fence was a very plump, very red, robin. He froze, and looked at me. So, I stopped – I suppose out of a sense of politeness to the bird.
The robin very clearly looked at me, and then took three hops forward. Well, okay. I took a step forward. He stopped, stared at me, and then took another three or so hops forward. I took another step. Rinse and repeat, several times. At this point, I was worrying a bit – if the robin wanted away from me, shouldn’t he fly? Could he not fly? Was I going to have to figure out how to capture a robin and find local wildlife rehab? Oh lord, what about Zeus?
Step. Hop. Step. Hop.
We did this dance, me contemplating emptying the box I had with me (long story), all the way down the side of the street. Two steps (six hops) from the intersection with a larger road, the robin gave me one final baleful glare, gathered up his wings, and flew off to perch on top of a row of bleachers. When he was safe in the bleachers, he flicked his tail, turned around, and sternly began to lecture me.
…I admit, I felt better knowing he could fly. But I felt kind of bad that I probably terrorized him, stalking him all the way down the street.