Our walk was, for all practical purposes, well, uneventful. The weather was cool as the sun had barely risen over the rooftops of the neighborhood’s homes. It was a welcome relief from the days of sweltering temperatures during the day and humid nights. The breeze that occasionally kicked up as we strolled along the path was both welcome and raising the hope that this day wouldn’t turn ugly on us.
As we turned the corner to head back to the car, I noticed a small creature standing in front of us. It was only barely on the sidewalk and would have been unnoticeable had it been in the nearby grass.
I waited for Tux to snap into hunter mode, but he seemed not to see the creature. Even Grace seemed not to notice the lurking creature. A dog bark from somewhere across the street caught Tux’s attention. He stared hard into the neighborhood hoping to catch sight of loud-mouthed dog.
We moved slowly up the sidewalk, but the creature declined to remove itself from our path. Did it not realize the danger it was in? We did, after all, have an intrepid hunter with us who, if he ever sighted the creature, would hunt it down. Instead of fleeing, it continued to hold its ground.
I began to think that maybe it was injured and unable to leave the eminent danger a mere 18 inches away. It was then that I realized that this was no creature. It was bird. A baby bird. A baby Cardinal. No wonder it was sitting placidly on the sidewalk. It had no experience with someone like Tux. The closer we got, the clearer it became that it was, indeed, a baby Cardinal.
Just as I was deciding to take Tux and Grace on a detour, the baby flew away, although it had a tough time gaining altitude. At the same time, Tux finally noticed it. He was totally stunned as he watched it fly away.
Tux had once again missed an opportunity to be a real hunter. Do we humans do the same thing? Do we miss opportunities because we are distracted by the equivalent of a barking dog?