It’s early in the morning; what could be struggling so energetically out in the back yard?
I see a Robin Red Breast pulling on a long string. His problem is that the string is connected to a pole having something to do with mechanics of the nearby koi pond. The robin doesn’t care about technicalities such as whether strings are tied to poles by humans, not when his needs are materials to build his new spring nest. He remains undeterred by the pole’s stubborn attitude and pulls the string so hard that the force of his mighty bird-strength almost propels him backwards onto his tail feathers.
“Drat,” I imagine him saying, “I’ll show that pole-snatcher not to mess with a Robin during mating season.
And with his new resolve, he marches back to face his foe. This scene continues for a few more rounds, when he flies off into a newly budding tree. I see him there, as yet un-camouflaged by full flowerings of leaves.
There he remains until early the following morning, when the pole begins re-undulating. There, at the base, is the dedicated Robin determined to get a special piece of string to start his new nest.
But nothing has changed; the string is still attached to the pole and no matter of Robin strength will pull it free. I carefully and silently open the sliding screen door, camera in hand, hoping to get a portrait of a man on a mission, in the guise of a bird. But the hint of my intrusion warns him and he flies away.
Time to bring some logic to this situation; I recall my college classes and ask key questions:
1) What is known? Answer: I know the bird wants the string.
2) What is keeping him from reaching his goal? The string has other plans.
3) How can this dilemma be solved? Provide a substitute for his string-fetish.
So I cut pieces of yellow string used for recycling newspapers and scatter them around the stubborn, string-holding pole.
Next morning the bird resumes his task, whistling “To Dream the Impossible Dream,” from the show, “Don Quixote.” He looks longingly at the pole, the impaled long string tantalizingly close to his reach, and yet unavailable, picks up a piece of yellow string and flies away.