Flipping through the garden books they show you all of these clever ways to combat pests. Little chirping birds however, are not listed among the pages. I had the company of the little birds for about two weeks. I have no idea how long they were there before Sophie, the bird dog pointed them out to me. I’d watered and fertilized them. Four little birds crammed into a tiny but neatly woven nest, tucked deep into my swinging and swaying fern. Originally lush green and reminiscent of paradise the fern began to die on one side, the leaves becoming crinkled and brown. Bits were torn away to make room for the new family. A small brown bird sat watch outside. Each morning they chirped and stretched their necks for their food while Sophie made circles and whimpered in front of the door. As they grew, from bald gray bodies with bulging eyes to miniatures of their parents the fern looked sicker and sicker. I watered the one side that wasn’t inhabited and clipped back the leaves. It held on. It’s been a while since the birds have left and Sophie still looks for them.