It could have gone either way.
Our house was gleaming after many weeks of polishing and primping, ready for the market, come what may. And now a very interested party was poised at the front door. It was their second visit and they had brought back their children, their friends and even the nanny, for a second viewing.
As we all milled around the porch, suddenly out of nowhere a wild turkey shot through the courtyard.
I immediately wondered if this was the make or break moment. Would they see the magnificent bird as I do? No matter how many I see, I marvel that these all-American bronze beauties share habitat with me. They are shimmering iridescence on the run. A bundle of barred feathers linking history and present.
Or would they see sharp claws on long leathery legs, the rangy, unfurled brown body no bigger than a bowling pin streaking through their potential patio and think it a little too close to nature? Would they fix on the red, wrinkly wattle and not notice that purposeful stride?
The littlest girl turned and I saw her eyes widen. Uh-oh. Was she frightened?
Then her mother turned, smiled and said, "Alex loves birds, she knows them all".
I don' t know if her parents were already sold on the home. They say that decision usually happens within 30 seconds of stepping in the door. But I figured I might have a buyer, even if she was only eight. I told her about the bald eagles that fish in the channel and the herons that perch on that first snag from the dock. I asked her if she knew a certain type of woodpecker that drum in the woods, which I pronounced pie-lee-ated. She sweetly corrected me, "You mean pill-ee-ated woodpeckers?"
I was sold! I wanted this little girl to buy my house. Hopefully her family would go along. You see, the only misgiving I had about leaving our home for a more urban environment was the thought of all my critters going unappreciated. I can replace plants, shrubs, trees and flowers but who would look out for the turkeys, otters, coyotes, deer, turtles and fox?
Would anyone notice when the catbird meows from the hedge, the geese squawk non-stop until nesting, the kingfishers angle from the dock railings, or the chickadees do that nee-neep thing, and on and on.
Luckily Alex's parents have gone ahead and bought our house. She's anxious to move in and start watching all my feathered friends. Except they're her birds now.