When I took driver’s ed the summer before my sophomore year of high school I had to ride my bike past fields of corn and soybeans to get to town. The ditches were filled with overprotective redwinged blackbirds sure that I was about to steal their babies. No matter how fast I rode I could see their ever larger shadows overhead until the boldest bird swooped at my head.

Today, as I ran around Lake of the Isles, that flash of red and yellow caught my eye. One little blackbird hopped onto the path as I passed. He looked right at me, I swear, but he didn’t attack. I jumped to the side and ran a little faster. I still don’t trust those little bastards.