How to terrify a room full of preschoolers in three easy steps.
First, find yourself a big, black, ugly crow-type bird.
Next, convince it to fly into the chimney of your unsuspecting home daycare provider while the children are innocently having their afternoon snack.
Finally, run around the room trying catch the bird in a shoebox while bird shrieks and thuds into walls, careening and flapping over the heads of the children who have all just wet themselves with panic.
Miss Diana called her husband at work and asked him to COME DO SOMETHING about the bird while she herded the children into another room.
This was the scene when I arrived to pick up Gertrude from daycare. Little Gert was shaking and sobbing, and she had a look on her face that told me she would never again throw breadcrumbs to the birds at Grandma's house with the same enjoyment.
I tried to be comforting. I scooped Gert up in my arms and she just clung to me. "Is that poor little bird trying to find his way outside?" I said soothingly.
THUD. Crash. Flutter. Thud.
Diana said, "It's not exactly a little bird." She obviously had no intention of throwing any breadcrumbs in the near future, either.
"Okay, well, let's get your coat on and go home. I'm sure birdie will be gone by tomorrow."
"No!" said Gert. "I don't want to go out there!" We would have to pass by Death on Wings in the next room in order to leave by the front door, and abject terror was preventing Gert from thinking sequentially.
Fortunately, it was only a few minutes before the bird was caught and released outside. The little boys went out to watch it fly away. Gert, however, insisted that I carry her all the way to the car in case the bird decided to come back for more, and she buried her entire head in the hood of her coat.
All the way home, we talked about how scared she'd been, and soon she had herself convinced it was a truly fantastic adventure that she couldn't wait to tell to Dad and Sis.
"Was the birdie really that scary?" I asked.
"I was scared," said Gert, "because I thought it was a crab!"
Well sure. Because a giant, winged crab flying around your house is scary as shit. Who can argue with that?