We went to check the stock tank, looking through the house was an added bonus. Last time we looked around the house the doors were locked and/or stuck shut, someone had forced the back door open in the mean time so we got to go in. The door opened to stairs, up to the kitchen or down into the basement. We went up. As much as I would like to check out some of these basements I’m too chicken.
The part of the house we were in was in amazingly good shape,the wood work was beautiful. The windows had been broken and barn swallows swooped about our heads, their nests decorating every corner. I had hardly topped the stairs when my husband turned to me wanting to know if I heard it. I hadn’t, and still didn’t hear anything.
We stood looking at the kitchen as the noise came again. I heard it this time, clearly. It seemed to be coming from the sink cabinet which was right in front of the door out. Or maybe just out side the window. Could it be the wind whistling through, something? The window? No didn’t seem to be. A snake? If it was in the cabinet it could be echoing making that noise. That was a little scary. Really the whole thing was a little scary.
But my will was strong and my husband brave. We carried on. We looked around the main floor the noise occasionally echoing in the background barn swallows blasting out into our faces. Coming to the stairs we looked up debating. The floor in the back part of the house was great. The floor in the front of the house was rotted and falling into the basement, what would the upstairs be like? Then to add to our quandary the hissing, whistling sounds came again, louder now. They seemed to be reverberating down the stairs.
We, I, nearly turned and ran. Only my curiosity held me in place. Of course we went up. The upstairs room was charming, open and airy. In one corner was an old cast iron bed and I could imagine this as the perfect master bedroom. Built into the peak of the roof the ceiling sloped sharply downwards with walls maybe four foot high and doors for access to storage behind. Looking in one side I saw lots of daylight explaining the rotted floors beneath and some stored stuff, what I don’t know. As I was pondering it my husband looked into the door on the other side then came for me.
He took me by the shoulders steadying me as he pushed me towards the other door. I wouldn’t believe it he told me but it would be worth sticking my head into the dark forbidding hole. My eyes took a moment to adjust but my ears wasted no time in picking up the mysterious sounds we had heard from below. There before me stood the cause of the commotion and not at all anything I could have guessed.
Two little, bigger than a chicken so maybe not that little, white balls of fluff acting all ferocious with their wings held out and backs hunched menacingly. They were growling at us with all their might. Black heads with fierce beaks held low and threatening. I was terrified for a whole new reason. If these two large baby birds were here where was their mother? We oohed and awed briefly over the general cuteness then high tailed it out of there leaving the chicks alone in their rather unorthodox nest.
Outside we briefly pondered the breed of bird we had seen upstairs until the sight of a vulture circling overhead gave us our answer.