• We've previously established in dad-blogs that my father loves birds. Like, birds bring him utter joy. To the point where he yoinked one out of a parking lot and brought it home and turned it into a pet. That, in his complete excitement at finally owning a bird for himself, he struggled through reading books about birds and how to best take care of them, despite having a very hard time understanding most of the words.

    Owning one bird isn't enough bird joy for him, though. With quarantine, he has decided to become "king of the bird". He bought all sorts of different birdseed and found all sorts of random knickknacks around the house. Then, my dad tied the objects to our five trees outside, creating multiple places for the birds to safely eat. Sometimes, I'll just find him awake at 6AM staring out the window, excitedly looking at all the different birds on the trees. I've seen cardinals, grackle, bluejays, doves, birds I can't even name, and dad's favorite, the regular everyday pigeon.

    As a side-note, when my dad was a little kid, living in Iran, he lived in a large home, with a big field. He asked his own dad, as a birthday present, to build him a small barn without a roof. So he did, and my dad would bring bread and pita out from dinner, and leave it in the barn. Birds would then fly in through the top to eat the food. According to my uncle, my dad had "at least a hundred of the darned things", pigeons and assorted birds of all kinds coming and going from the barn each day, and it was my dad's favorite thing in the whole world. So I suppose it explains why he loves birds so much.

    In another instance, a few years ago right before, or on Easter Day, there was a parakeet in our backyard. My dad was amazed that such a weird bird happened to be hanging around, so he set out some bread and climbed a tree, waiting for it to land. He was out there for hours, and my mom was convinced that my dad was insane. But, eventually, he came back inside holding a parakeet, holding it with clear adoration in his eyes. He even walked around our street, bragging to everyone outside that he caught a parakeet. ...Until he found the owner of the parakeet, who was amazed that my dad had managed to save his pet. He ended up giving my dad 50 bucks for the return of the parrot, to which my dad excitedly claimed that the Jesus Bird had blessed him with free money.

    But today, he was looking out the window, and was very, very upset. He looked me in the eye, dead serious, and said "THERE IS A MONSTER IN THE YARD!!!". Of course, hearing the word monster is startling. What could it mean?! Was there a raccoon? An armadillo? feral dog?

    No.

    It was a small, tiny, squirrel.

    But it was a monster because it had decided to steal the birdseed. The worst possible sin that could be committed, in the eyes of my dad. So he shooed it away. And it ran. And it came back. And dad shooed it away, and it came back. An endless cycle, of two determined beings. One wanted to just eat birdseed, the other wanted to protect the bounty he had left for his precious birds.

    Currently, my dad is outside trying to tie the birdseed holders to things that the squirrel can't get onto, but to give the little guy credit, he sure can jump far, and has foiled my dad at every point so far. Godspeed, dad, may you win in your fight against the evil monster.

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