The demise of Mrs. Crazy


Mrs. Crazy is dead. She was the mate of a lunatic cardinal who beat himself half to death a few years ago by attacking his own image in our bedroom window. I named him Crazy because of it.

Last week, his mate flew headlong into our front door. I guess the reflection in the glass looked like trees and blue sky. She was lying still and cold on the welcome mat. I dropped her into the trash can with military honors. I figured if she could put up with a nutcase like Crazy, she had earned my respect.

To be honest, I’m not sure that bright red arrogant bird in my yard is actually Crazy. He hasn’t gone on the attack against my window for several years. Mostly he does normal bird things like flitting around the feeder and singing drop-dead melodious songs.

When Crazy was on the offensive, however, I did everything I could think of to dissuade him from breaking his fool neck. I washed the blood streaks off the glass, closed the blinds to diffuse his reflection and even covered the outside of the window with cloth.

Nothing worked. He repeatedly flew under the cloth to beat the stuffing out of his enemy in the glass. Then, for reasons known only to him, he suddenly stopped. After that, I occasionally saw him around the yard. Other than shaking his head periodically as though clearing away some unseen cobwebs, he seemed normal. He and his mate returned to routine housekeeping.

Then came last week. Cardinals mate for life I’m told, and I’m sure his mate’s death was a blow for Crazy. Time is the great healer, they say, and hopefully, it works for birds as it does for humans. In the meantime, however, Crazy perches on the feeder and chirps longingly for a mate that is no longer there.