The cowbirds had been linking and clawing at the windows for days. We chalked it up to their stupidity and rowdiness, but after my wife accidentally left the window open when we went out for groceries, we learned that they had a much more cunning plan in mind.

We stood there, together, looking at the small brown-marbled egg laid in the middle of our master bed.

“We have some very ambitious obligate brood parasites,” I said.

“Let’s get rid of it,” replied my wife.

“I dunno,” I said. “I think, by the law of the forest, we need to incubate it and raise it as our own now.”

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