Flamingo Caper, Part II
Better late than never, eh? So I set up the plastic pink flamingos in my front yard for April Fool's Day, artfully arranged for maximum impact. James would be home from work in about an hour. I took a few admiring photos and went to take a shower. As I was doing my hair, I had a bad feeling that something had gone wrong with the birds. I looked outside and discovered that the two closest to the road were missing. But one of them had left a single, metal stake leg behind. A birdnapping! And right here in suburbia!
These were borrowed birds. A woman I know at work knew another woman who happened to have 16 fake flamingos. She connected the two of us and the bird lady graciously leant me the pink beauties. And now two of her birds were gone! I dragged a dining room chair out into the garage and sat vigil over my front yard. I felt like Farmer Brown guarding his cornfield, minus the rifle.
James arrived home and we had a good laugh over the joke. Then I told him about the theft. He couldn't believe it. In the interim, I had called my mom about the caper. She suggested that I drive around the neighborhood to see if I could find the flamingos. I said, "Who would be stupid enough to steal them from my yard and put them in theirs? Especially with one missing a leg.
James and I put the birds back in their boxes and decided to go out to eat. As we approached a stop sign about five houses up from ours, I noticed some teenage boys playing hockey in their driveway. And next to them in their yard were the flamingos. "Those are my flamingos!" I shouted. "Stop the car!"
"What are you going to?" James asked.
"I'm going to take my birds back!"
The boys' father was standing in the yard. I struck a friendly yet guarded and decisive tone and said, "Hi. I'm missing two flamingos. And one of them," I paused dramatically, and pointed, "is missing a leg." (I stopped short of shouting 'A-ha!')
I marched up to the flamingos and swiftly uprooted them.
Boring dialogue ensued about how I had borrowed these birds and it was prank for my husband. The boys stayed silent, but one of them did point to another as if to say, "It was him!" The dad didn't have much useful to say. He said something about the boys must have been pulling a prank, etc.
As I was walking away he finally said that he was sorry. I got the feeling that he just didn't know what to do, or just didn't care. Maybe he should teach his kids not to steal. Keep in mind, I don't know these people. It's not like they're my neighbor-friends and we all had a good laugh and that was that. I wonder now what the kids planned to do with the stolen lawn ornaments. Display them in their yard for awhile and then bring them back? Keep them? Come back for the other leg? And didn't their father wonder where these random birds had come from in the first place? Or maybe Daddy was with the boys when they took them. I could wax on about the decline of society's ethics, but that would be boring.
In the end, all 16 flamingos returned safely to their owner. So -- and you had to see this coming -- no harm, no fowl.
The two in the upper right hand corner (hard to see) were stolen.