A little bird…, by Miriam Erez

I’m waiting to see the nurse at my local clinic. Also waiting is a neighbor who’s known me practically since I made aliya, i.e., she has spoken with me on more than one occasion, so she knows I know Hebrew. Also waiting is a mother with a toddler, whose turn it is first.

The conversation [in Hebrew]:
Mother [to us]: I’m leaving my purse here on this chair. If you hear a little bird tweeting, it’s OK.

Us [nodding]: Sure. Fine.

OK, I think. She’s telling us in a cute, creative way that her phone might ring and her ringtone is a bird chirping. Mother and toddler enter nurse’s office. I turn to Neighbor.

Me: Did she say…bird?

Neighbor: Yes. tzipor. [in heavy Hebrew accent] A BIRRRD!

I nod, wanting to say, Are you nuts? You actually think after living in Israel for 30 years I don’t know what a *tzipor* is? THAT’s what you think is weird about that woman’s announcement?!

We wait. Minutes pass.

Mother and toddler exit nurse’s office. Mother puts Toddler down, opens her purse, and takes out…a BABY BIRD that she’d rescued in the parking lot!

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