A kite’s call sounded overhead. My family and I were walking in our neighborhood in early summer, near a tall old pine. I felt a rush of wind, and something tugged at my braid. I looked up to see a Mississippi Kite climbing back into the sky, where a second wheeled.
The second plunged, snagging my father’s hat, and lifted it off his head a little before dropping it. The first attacked my mother; then the second swooped toward my face, his amber eyes fierce, claws outstretched, pulling up just before he touched me.
We hurried past, and the dive-bombing birds soon stopped their attack, satisfied to watch from a dead cottonwood. Looking back, I saw a platform of sticks in the pine. The birds had been guarding their nest! I shall always remember that summer day and the attack of the kites.