Friday, February 29, 2008

Birds, and other natural curiosities

So, birds.  As I said before, we've had some wonderful encounters with the feathered folk.  One of our funniest?  The day a bird knocked itself silly when it flew into our kitchen window.  We were all sitting by the window at the time and we hurried outside to find the injured, possibly deceased, bird.  We found the poor thing cushioned in the daylilies, blinking up at us, so we located a shoebox and lined it with a towel. Into the box went the bird.  We put the lid on the box and brought the package inside, hoping that a warm, dark, and quiet place would help our guest recover.  Our two teens headed off to an event and we settled into our morning routine.

Sometime later Ken and I sat down for a cup of tea.  We had heard nothing from the bird, no flutterings or chirps, so Ken removed the lid.  Was the bird still counted among the living?  Yup, just lying there and blinking.  Ken left the lid off and returned to the table saying that perhaps a little light would help.  I responded "What if it helps too much and the bird flies out of the box?"  "Oh, that won't happen yet", Ken replied, just as the bird hopped up onto the edge of the box.

We went into Red Alert.

It was clear that the bird was still a bit dazed.  Without speaking, we moved in slow motion, me toward the door and Ken toward the bird-on-the-box.  He picked up the box, the bird watching him from its perch.  Slowly, oh so slowly, Ken made his way through the kitchen and out the door, setting the box on the sunny porch step.  The question now was, would this bird be able to fly safely to a tree before one of the neighborhood cats discovered it?  We settled onto the grass a few feet from the bird, watching, ready to defend the bird from any passing predators.  At last, with a chirp, it flew into the nearest Fir.  Our job was done.

Our teens returned home shortly after this.  We excitedly told them, in full detail, what had happened with the bird.  Amy's response was "Cool!" and she headed to her room.  Alden stood with us for a few minutes, then fixed us with a stern expression and said, in a lowered voice, "Ok, what really happened with the bird?"  If the bird had died, well, we would have waited and buried it with full family attendance, as we have always done.  It took a long time to convince him that we weren't trying to shield anyone from a sad ending.

And that's it this time around.  Next time?  Other Natural Curiosities.

Stay tuned.

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