Bird friends! Who's got 'em?
I'm not talking about the human friends you watch birds with (even though they're some of the best, amirite?). I'm also not talking about the friendly strangers you swap photos and stories with on the interwebs, either (although it's one of the neatest things how folks come together over a shared passion!).
I'm talking about the feathered, wild kind. The black-capped chickadee who notices the peanuts you share with the crows. The same chickadee that decides you are trustworthy enough to land on your hand to chose its own morsel.
The ruffed grouse (!!!) that decides she wants to spend 2+ hours chilling with you in the woods.
I met this gorgeous lady in early October at Camlann Medieval Village, and had to ask if she was domesticated in some way, because she not only followed me around like a sweet/territorial puppy, but hopped up on the bench to sit with me, and then this wild magical creature decided that my knee looked like a comfortable perch. And we hung out. Chilled. And time, as magic permeated it, no longer mattered.
She made these adorable crooning noises, an incessant blend of purr and cluck. And I'll admit I talked with her, too - mimicking her softer sounds and enjoying her attention.
I don't think it's just Disney that made close encounters with wild animals magical. I mean, really we want wild animals to be wary of us, to keep their distance, to stay wild. But there's something about that tentative trust, that imaginary bond, that anthropomorphic befriending, that makes the world a little brighter, a little more worthwhile, a little more joyful.