If there are any readers of this blog as devoted to low movies as I, they may perhaps have seen the 2006 effort, Failure to Launch, a Sarah Jessica Parker/Matthew McConaughey trifle about a young women whose profession it is to hire herself out to exasperated parents who cannot get their grown sons to move out of the family home. Parker seduces the men, woos them into leaving home, picks up her paycheck, and moves on. The parents in this forgettable film are the always wonderful Kathy Bates and -- surprise, surprise -- pro football great Terry Bradshaw.
Susie and I are currently watching with bated breath an avian version of this cautionary tale. Six months ago, we bought a wooden birdhouse and had it installed on the porch of our third floor condo. Several weeks ago, we discovered that the birdhouse was inhabited by a sparrow couple and their two babies. For a while, we just peered out of our bedroom window, which looks catty-corner at the end of the porch where the birdhouse is mounted, waiting to catch a glimpse of one parent or the other landing on the birdhouse and feeding the babies by regurgitating food into their open maws.
In the past few days, however, things have taken a dramatic turn. As the babies grew larger, they started thrusting themselves more and more insistently out of the small round entrance to the birdhouse, cheeping plaintively for food. Then, yesterday, one of the babies suddenly appeared on the edge of the porch below the birdhouse. It had either flown out or had fallen [or, indeed, had been pushed by its larger sibling -- there is very little fellow feeling among baby birds, apparently.]
At this point, something truly remarkable happened, An entire flock of sparrows showed up, only two of which at most could have been parents of the little bird, and landed on the porch within a foot or two of the baby. Apparently, it does indeed take a village. We went out to dinner, and when we returned, the baby had disappeared. Either he flew or he fell -- there is no third way when you are a bird -- but Susie went downstairs and could not find him on the pavement.
Now the remaining baby, who at this point is larger than its parents, is staying in the nest, calling imperiously for food. I think it may be time to get Sarah Jessica Parker on the case.