Someone asked me once if a cat can dog a man’s footsteps? Yes, I believe so—I’ve seen a cat following closely behind his master, tail erect, and all attention. Of course, we don’t really know what the cat was thinking. He was probably surreptitiously planning an attack on the man’s leg.
But can a bird dog a man’s footsteps? I have a wren following me around these days. It started this winter while I was splitting firewood. He found out some of the newly split blocks had bugs, termites, and larvae in them. After a while he showed up whenever he heard the sledgehammer ring on the steel wedge. I suppose it sounded like a dinner bell to him. He hopped around from block to block and on the ground, often coming within three or four feet of me.
Today I was building a cedar shake wall out in the yard. The wren, who I named Wilberforce, came to check things out. It seems he associates me with food, and thinks I’m the best thing that happened since God created worms. This afternoon he got under the lumber stacked across my wheelbarrow and I could hear him pecking on the bottom. He sits about four feet away and isn’t even bothered when I use the chop saw.
I’m talking to him nowadays, like, “Wilberforce, what are you doing here? You could get hurt.” That could be a bad sign—talking to birds. I won’t worry about it unless I hear him answer.