For those keeping track, during my service I have had a number of animal guests stay with me during parts of my service. The vast number of them including ants, cockroaches, crickets, flies, locust and a scorpion were unwanted. Some, included a diseased cat and a dying frog were tolerated with equanimity. And then there was a gecko whose sudden appearance was all to brief. Now however I am playing host to my first animal guest that I actually invited. For the time being, I have a swallow bedding down in the aviary guest quarters.
It happened like this: I always leave the window open to the bathroom because the hot water heater is in there and I want as much of the Carbon Monoxide it generates going outside. One evening last month I went in and discovered a Barn Swallow perched happily upon the towel rack. He was in no way shocked or unsettled by my sudden appearance and merely peered at me warily from his perch a foot away as went about my business. I instinctively named him Franklin and have decided that he has come North from Capetown, South Africa and is staying over here until milder summer weather in Europe entices him further North.
It is rather cool having Franklin as a guest. His morning chirping echos nicely around the house and is nice to wake up to. Also, I am told the Koran says having swallows in your house is good luck, or something along those lines.
Of course there are downsides. I am not wild about him pooping on the floor. Also, you find yourself subconsciously being a lot quieter when you know you have a sleeping bird in the house. And the worst is that you are a lot more self-conscious when you go to the bathroom. Knowing a bird is watching you while you go can really make you nervous!