Thursday, June 03, 2004

Mama Was A Divebomber

"Serpentine, Shel, serpentine!!!"

That has to be one of the funniest lines from the movie "The In-Laws", the 1979 version with Peter Falk and Alan Arkin - not the recent remake which wasn't anywhere near as humorous.

In the film, Falk bellows that advice to Arkin as they are coming under machine gun fire. It's a reminder to run in a serpentine motion because a moving target is harder to hit.

Whenever Amy and I walk in or out of our house lately we do the same and yell, "Serpentine, Serpentine!"

We're not coming under attack from a machine gun nest, but rather from the nest of baby swallows encamped immediately above our front door.

Actually the baby birds are quite peaceful....Mom and Dad on the other hand are outright mean.

The little birds are almost big enough to fly away, but until they do their mother and father defend them by dive-bombing us or any other unlucky trespasser on our porch.

They'll get close enough where you can feel the breeze from their wings. Or if you're stupid enough to stand there, get a picture of their wing

What's interesting is that in a few days, the parent birds will use the same approach on their offspring that they've perfected on us. They'll swoop and squawk and generally harass them. It's their way of telling the fledglings it's time to move out.

Sometimes I suppose you have to go on the offensive, even with the ones you love.

If you do, remember to yell, "Serpentine! Serpentine!" to let them know you care.