Over the past two weeks, he has been keeping an eye on the sour cherries. When they began turning red, he happily announced that he would pick the fruit the second it ripened so that he could bake some cherry strudel. Unfortunately, my father was not the only one to take note of the ripening sour cherries in his backyard.
A couple of days ago my father barged through my gate, his eyes wide and frantic.
"They're eating them all!" he exclaimed.
"Calm down. Who's eating what?" I asked.
"The birds! They're eating all the cherries!"
I followed my father to his house half-expecting to see a couple of sparrows pecking away at a few cherries in the grass, but when I walked into the backyard I was confronted with something straight out of Alfred Hitchcock. The cherry tree throbbed with birds. Every branch was full. And when I say full, I mean full. I'd never seen anything like it. Dozens of birds, from a variety of species, all ravaging my father's precious sour cherry tree in unison.
We promptly purchased a plastic eagle and placed it in the tree to deter further marauding and salvage my father's dream of baking cherry strudel. It's too early to know if the plastic eagle in the tree will work. If it does, I will ceremoniously grant my father a point and call the cherry match a draw, but as of now the birds are up one to zip.
On a side note, during the cherry apocalypse I happened to catch a glimpse of a bird I had never seen before - a yellow bird with black wings. Turns out it was an Orioulus orioulus, known more plainly as the Eurasian golden oriole.