Saturday, December 3, 2011

Things with Wings

Every self respecting Canaan knows that it is his responsibility to guard his territory, and prevent the invasion of intruders.  That seems to be a very straightforward task.  But sometimes it is not as easy as it sounds.

Habibi is very zealous in his protection of me and what belongs to us (please note, it is not what belongs to ME, it is what belongs to US).  But there is one area that seems to be very confusing, and that is the situation of things with wings.

We have a good number of birds around here, and some of them are very drawn to invading our territory. Habibi is not too worried about the little birds like finches and sparrows.  But anything from the size of a pigeon or larger is another story.

These creatures, as far as he is concerned, are definitely invading our territory.  There they are, inside our boundaries, inside our fence, sitting on our roof!  And he can’t reach them!  He runs around the yard with his nose in the air, pointing at these dangerous beings that are sitting on the telephone wire, barking at them and sometimes taking a jump into the air. But they ignore all his efforts.  Some of them, like the family of crows that come for half the year every summer to raise their new families, laugh at him, sitting up well out of reach and cackling, and sometimes dropping bits of fruit on his head.  Even when he manages to sneak up on a pigeon or crow sitting on the lawn, before he can grab it, it takes off straight up.  This is definitely not fair play!

Then there are the winged things of the night – the moths.  As we sit in the evening quietly watching television, suddenly one of them will coming whizzing around, fluttering across the screen or casting scattered shadows as it flutters around the lamp.  These also usually manage to evade Habibi’s attempts to grab them as he leaps over the furniture in pursuit, and eventually gives up in frustration.

During the summer, there are the bees, butterflies, and flying beetles that make his life a misery as he tries to protect the yard.  Flies seem to be in a different category.  Apparently they are not considered to be territorial invaders, just a nuisance – he will snap at them when they buzz around us, but doesn’t take off in pursuit.

And then there are the helicopters…Yes, once in a while, helicopters fly low over our house – just low enough to make a hellish racket and be clearly visible, so that Habibi believes that if he can just jump high enough he can catch them…So far, no luck – but there is always the next time…

There is one more invader that seems to be hard for Habibi to categorize.  Although they don’t have wings, they spend their time sneering at him from the roof and they drive him crazy.  The cats, of course – we have a number of “outdoor” cats, which we feed, but that are not pets, their job is hunting the various vermin and they do so very efficiently. They are wise to the ways of the world, and do not come into the yard where the dogs are, but they know exactly where the dogs’ boundaries are, and enjoy sitting half a meter away from the fence and calmly washing as the dogs run back and forth looking for a way through.  But what agitates Habibi is that one of their very favorite places is to sit on the roof.  He and the other dogs will stand glaring up at the little mocking faces looking down at them, or the arrogant tail twitch as they walk away, indifferent to barking and leaps in the air.  They are not things with wings, so what are they doing up there?????

How difficult life can be for a Canaan who is simply trying to do his job….


  1. This is so true! Our two dogs go mad when the crows perch on the roof,or even the neighbors' roofs. And while out "in-door" cats are part of the pack, all other cats are invaders who must be chased away...

  2. Habibi, help is on the way. I, Keren, daughter of Barak, have learned how to fly and am writing a book, "Dogged Flight," that you could use as an instruction manual. Don't tell Myrna, she might not want you to learn to fly...