It started as a gentle rapping, rapping, rapping at my window.
I ignored it at first, thinking that perhaps a neighbor was beginning a roofing job next door.
But the pounding continued, a rhythmic tapping. A repeated banging. As if some visitor entreating entrance through my window to explore. It was clearly not my neighbor, nor the wind that I’d been fearing. It was a robin — a robin beating wings and talons against my window, thereby making me really sore.
I jumped from my computer desk to the window and angrily called out to the unmerciful red-breasted bore: “Nevermore!”
It is springtime in Worthington, and birds of all sorts are settling into their favored nesting areas. Robins are highly territorial, and because they’ve got bird brains they tend to fly into a tizzy when they see their reflections in windows. It was obvious to me that such a robin had come to terrorize me from the vantage point of the little single-pane window bringing light into our computer room.
I scared it away, but it kept coming back. Moments later it was there again. It’s plan was to use a tiny tree branch opposite the window as its base of operations. It attacked from there, repeating the process over and over again, every three seconds or so.
I went to the garage for my trusty little hand saw, and I sawed off the branch — thinking that if the robin had to sit somewhere else, it wouldn’t see its reflection and would allow my wife and I some peace.
Again, no luck. It simply perched on the spot where the branch used to be, then continued to fly into the window.
By this time, I’d gotten really mad. I grabbed a big black trash bag and some duct tape and blackened the upper half of the window from which the reflection showed. Again, no luck, My robin had simply begun to attack the bottom half.
I pulled out another trash bag and obliterated the entire window, eliminating all the sunshine from my little computer room. But it was worth it to get rid of that infernal bird.
I went to work. When I came back for supper a few hours later, Sandy was sitting in the family room with a grim look upon her face. Moments later, I heard that sound again.
It was the robin, pounding against our huge picture window. I had only transferred its attacks from one window to another one, except this time it was against a window far too large to obscure with trash bags.
“I’m going out to buy a BB gun,” I said. “I’m going to kill that crazy bird forevermore!!!”
Sandy put an end to that idea immediately. But neither one of us knew what else do to.
We had the same problem at our previous home in North Mankato. A crazed robin attacked the narrow window at our front entrance for weeks, making it impossible for anyone to visit us without having to worry about starring in a remake of “The Birds,” Hitchcock style.
Back in Worthington, Sandy and I tried to make do with our robin situation. Then one day last week the bird stopped; it bombarded our window no more.
Until Monday. On Monday it was back again to torture us.
It still haunts our premises, and I feel just as Edgar Allen Poe must have felt when he penned his immortal poem, “The Raven.”
Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted —
On this home by Horror haunted — tell me truly, I implore —
Is there — is there balm in Gilead? Tell me, tell me, I implore!
Quoth the Robin, “Nevermore.”