Chapter XIII (quotes from the book are in olive)
This chapter is devoted to the birds that lived in & around the cottage and, as so many times before in her book, she calls on Thoreau's words to begin their story.
"In a different sense, I could cultivate the birds, for like Thoreau, "I found myself suddenly neighbor to the birds; not be having imprisoned one, but having caged myself near them.""
This quote comes from Chapter 2 of Walden and brings to mind the way Laura viewed nature, not as a thing or place out there, but rather as a place as close as her own skin, a place she was a part of, not seperate from. Laura continues...
"It might be said, nevertheless, that a Carolina wren chose to imprison herself with me. She became my first tenant, and I must have been a satisfactory landlady because for two summers she was a resident, building her nest and laying her eggs on a joist of the unfinished living room. The first summer she raised her brood and the fledgings escaped from the nest while Kip and I were in the mountains. The second summer I again welcomed her to the cherished privacy of my home, and again she built her nest and laid three eggs, but since carpenters were panelling the interior they found it necessary to move her nest from joist to joist as work progressed. During the day she would come to the door at intervals to look in. Immediately upon the departure of the workmen she would enter and find the nest on the joist. Eventually it became necessary to move the nest outside. She did not return to the eggs."
As the caretaker at Lichgate, I was privileged to spend hours watching this lovely bird's descendants still continue to visit the cottage, and if given the chance, come inside. More than once we left doors open for our winged visitor to find its way out. Should you have the chance to see this bird at the park you will love the way it moves along the bark or board of a fence. It can climb almost sideways as it flickers along searching for insects. Here is an audio clip of typical song.