Topic: "Jose and Claudia" (4)
The Gardens of the Shire begin to bust out all over, and with the new growth the search begins for a spot to nest. Frodo speaks, of course, about the rabbits, the squirrels, the chipmunks, the birds, and any others not presently visible. Frodo has attached a variety of wooden structures to trees, fenceposts and poles, all in the effort to attract the diversity which appeals to him in both birds and human beings. For, not unlike human beings, issues of territory, competition, and hospitality seem to play some role in whose chicks will begin life in the Shire, or in other corners of Middle Earth.
Apparently the Shire stands amid the territorial dominance of several male cardinals. The screaming scarlet battles occur throughout the nesting season, but now that the first nesting has begun there is only the silent sentinel forever in search of food for his mate. Frodo noted, last year, that his neighbor had a nest of cardinals near a window, while space in the Shire was taken by chickadees, titmice, wrens, nuthatches and a plethora of others. The neighbor children seemed at the time to be forever peering into the nest, seeking parental progress. That behavior has evidently resulted in the construction of a natural nest in the bough where stands one of Frodo's feeding spots for hummingbirds. Frodo has not yet seen a ruby-throat in the vicinity, nor has he pointed out the new nest location to his budding base-ball playing neighbor, "Little Chipper."
Jose Cardenal was a base-ball player for many years. Claudia Cardinale was an extremely buxom actress. This fanciful pairing of an athlete and a starlet has been Frodo's way of properly addressing the pending parents in the Shire. Jose and Claudia are a handsome couple who seem to recognize that they are welcome visitors, and that an unseen "Do Not Disturb" sign exists in their defense. Frodo can ensure that neither Mr. Beau Neau nor any human interloper approach the nest now occupied full-time by Claudia. Jose however, will have to assume responsibility for the hummingbirds. Nature, and higher powers, will hopefully direct the red-tailed hawk toward bigger game.
Frodo never realized that being a surrogate parent was such a big deal.