Saturday, June 19, 2010
BYE, BYE BIRDIE
The other day we were out on our boat when suddenly the sky seemed to open up. We heard thunder, which concerned us but at the first crack of lightening, we were out of there. Before we even made it to our vehicles, we’d tuned to look at the water. What we saw made us high tail to the safety of our vehicles. It was like a sandstorm in a desert but instead a cloud of water racing across the river. I’ve never seen anything like it.
We hopped into our cars and waited for my husband and a friend as they attempted to cover the boat and bring in the raft. The rain was coming down in buckets, whipping around like the Wizard of Oz. My husband heard the trees from above crack, and that was it. They were out of there. They quickly tied the raft to the bike rack, hoping it would stay. There was no time for attaching it to the roof of his truck.
All accounted for in the vehicles, we left the parks, circling around. As we drove past where we’d just been parked, a huge branch now laid. Wow, that was close. Our truck would have suffered severe damage, and worse, one of the kids could have been hurt.
On the way home, less than a mile, we saw several large trees on the ground. Including one with a utility line down in my sister-in-laws front yard.
We waited at home for the storm to subside. Once it had, my husband and oldest daughter went back to retrieve the raft. Amongst the fallen branches my daughter spotted a baby bird perched on a tiny branch. She immediately called me, and of course I told her to bring it home.
The bird was a cute as can be. We put it in one of our cages we weren’t using, and then went to work researching the web for how to feed, and what to feed a baby bird. How contradictory information on the web can be. In the end we asked a neighbor for a can of cat food, and feed our new little friend, along with some water.
The next morning I woke up uncommonly early, relieved when I heard our little friend chirping. We fed him, and gave him water. Becoming more adventurous, we decided to pick him up. Of course my animal lover, my middle daughter was the first to do so and quickly bond to him. Before long he was flying from one person to the other.
After some talking, we decided we needed to take him to the Wild Bird Store in town and ask a few questions. The two woman that worked there were very helpful, and kind. Another woman, a customer, wasn’t so kind. She interrupted our conversation, letting me know who she was, and just what she thought of me taking the bird from his environment, along with the crime I’d be committing if I decided to keep it, and didn’t put it back immediately.
I wasn’t about to be intimidated by her, though. I respect her views but hey, the little thing was in a situation that if we hadn’t taken him that night, he may very well have been killed. The animal lover in me wouldn’t allow that to happen.
After our visit to the bird store we decided we’d take our little bird friend and place him in a safe spot near where we'd found him and wait and watch to see if his mother came around. We perched him on a limb on the ground near some brush, and waited. After some time a bird came around, swooping down and then back up into the trees. This went on for some time so after awhile we decided it must be the mother. At least we certainly hope so.
After making the very difficult decision to leave him there, we stuck him farther into the brush for safety. When it was time to leave there were many tears. In less than twenty-four-hours this little birdie had won all our hearts.
Sadly, we headed for home with an empty cage, still wondering if we'd done the right thing. The unknowing is the hardest part. I knew the best place for this little guy would be with him mother, in nature where God intended him to be. But if that was at the cost of his young life, I would have gladly stepped in to do whatever it took to save his little life. After all, how bad could it have been to live with people that would love and care for him?
After having lunch, and attending to a few things around the house, we went back to check on our little friend. As we circled the brush, we didn’t see or hear anything. We whistled, hoping he’d return the call. And sure enough our little friend called back to us. What a relief and joy that was! After searching for some time, my youngest daughter spotted him perched on a twig, safely resting and calling out to us.
This time when we left the park we were a little happier knowing he’d survive so far. We weren’t even in the door when the phone started to ring. It was the lady from the bird store. She was checking to see what happened and assured me she’d go and check on him, later.
So for now we are feeling pretty good, though a little emotional. I have to wonder if we'll ever look at a bird flying overhead without thinking of our little friend...even if he was only in our lives for twenty-four-hours.