Yesterday when I backed out of my driveway to pick up Cheyenne from school I saw a small bird sitting on the driveway in the space that my car had covered moments before. I found it curious that it didn’t move away from the car as I was backing out. From where I was in the car I couldn’t tell if it was dead or alive, so I had to get out of the car and go look at it up close. I was hoping that upon my approach the little bird would take flight, but it didn’t.
When I was virtually upon it I could see that one side of its face was bloody and that it looked terribly disoriented and weak. Uggh – not the kind of thing I like to see. I don’t like being exposed to the realities of nature – I like being naively oblivious whenever possible to the fact that poor little creatures get hurt and die.
The injured little bird was a fledgling. This is the time of year when the mama birds push them to fend for themselves and every year – without fail – we have a sad fledgling situation that I am exposed to. I dread it. I love birds and as I said I like to try and stay naively oblivious whenever possible to the realities of fledglings who don’t make it.
I knew I would have to do something about the fledgling after I picked up Cheyenne. When I pulled away I saw a mockingbird on the roof with its eye on the fledgling, plus and I live in a neighborhood full of elementary school age boys who love to fiddle with creatures…I figured I was the only hope the fledgling had. So I hurried home after picking up Cheyenne and managed to get the poor little frightened flegling into a small cat carrier with some food and water. I wasn’t even sure if the fledgling could eat birdseed or not – but that was I had so that was what I gave it. I put the carrier outside by the bird feeder so his mother would know where he was, but I kept the kennel door closed so that he would remain safe.
I then proceeded to do what I always do in such a situation – call all the family members to get their opinion on what I should do next. Sarah thought I should give the fledgling a worm. I told her that I think the mama bird chews up the worm first and them regurgitates it – I wasn’t going to do that – that being: a) touch a worm; b) chew it up; or c) regurgitate it. I instead opted to pray that the fledgling could eat the fine grained seed I had provided. Mike said the fledgling was likely going to die no matter what I did, but thought it was good that I tried to do something. Cory said about the same, but then added that the fledgling’s chances to survive were likely improved because of my intervention. That made me happy. I wanted to believe that the little fledgling might just survive in spite of it all.
After it was dark out and the kids had gone in for the night I went out and opened the door to the kennel. I figured that way the fledgling could go back out into the world if it was so inclined. I also hoped the mama bird might step in and help in the quiet of night.
This morning when I walked out to take Cheyenne to school I was very happy to see the fledgling hopping around by the bird feeder. It was like a sign from God that little things do make a difference in a sensitive universe. In the fledgling this morning I saw the hope that I had placed in its survival validated.
I haven’t seen the fledgling again since this morning. I hope it survives, but I guess I’ll never really know. At least this year, with this fledgling, I had an opportunity to ever so slightly change what might have been its destiny. For that I am grateful.
Day one thousand and thirty of the new forty – obla di obla da