Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored" on Wren Day 2010! Classy little bird, the wren. All hail!
Yesterday as family Johnson was engaged opening gifts, I looked into the dining room and saw a little wren hopping across the floor. It then took off and began flying around, landing briefly in the Christmas tree. (Fortunately, Alpha had found an empty box to snooze in, and Beta was nowhere to be seen.)
If this little birdie had been brought in by the cats, it was resourceful in the extreme, because it was completely hale and hearty. I doubt that the cats even knew it was in the house, because once a cat knows it has the possibility of bagging a bird, the cat will forgo all snoozing and noshing and all else in the glory of pursuit.
I opened some windows and the back door, and within moments the wren had rejoined its family outside. Where it is now shivering through the early stages of a Nor'Easter that is looking more fierce by the minute.
Could be that the faeries brought in the wren. Today is Wren Day, after all -- yet another celebration on behalf of the bored gods that is nearly lost to the mists of time. Long ago, the ancient Celts saw the wren as a symbol of the waning year, so when the daylight was at its shortest they sacrificed a wren to herald in the months of the robin (often confused with our popular robin here in America, though not the same bird).
Here's a little bit of Wren Day poetry:
The wren, the wren, the king of the birds,
On Stephen's Day was caught in furze;
Up with the kettle and down with the pan,
And give us some money to bury the wren."
Before anyone gives me sass about the cruelty of killing a wren, I say to you: Wrens, doves, goats, people ... we live in the 21st century now, and few cultures kill living things for their deities. Religions -- all of them -- change with the times, some more quickly than others.
Wren Day marks the return of light and the expectation of spring. This is ironic here today in New Jersey. Our first winter storm has begun, and it is my aim to save wrens, not sacrifice them. Off to the store for bird seed!