A visit from the piping shrike
Today I woke up with a piping shrike in my kitchen. I soothingly spoke to him and he stopped flitting about. I shut the lounge and bedroom doors so that he wouldn't fly into those, then, hands in pockets, I slowly walked towards him on the window sill.
I was intending to open the window and let him fly free, but being so close to an elusive, intelligent, and ubiquitous shrike excited some primordial part of my psyche. Instead, I grabbed him. He began to scream with terror, his beak wide open as if unable to believe that some soft-spoken primate had grabbed him.
I set him free.
No doubt he knows me. I can't tell shrikes apart; they are regular visitors to my yard. But he will have a wild tale to relate to his flightmates now, and I have touched a shrike with my hands.