Friday, June 15, 2007

Are You My Mommy?

I think I've mentioned before that Warren will only kill mosquitoes and roaches. Everything else must be saved. Spiders and bees are escorted out of the house in glasses or on piece of paper. Earthworms are dragged off the sidewalk and placed in the grass to avoid getting shriveled by the sun.

You heard me.

Amazingly a baby robin escaped the claws of our vicious kitty, Olive. She is known for leaving treats on our doorstep. Birds, moles, voles, chipmunks, mice, rats, you name it. Sometimes they even have their heads or entrails removed and stacked neatly next to them. Maybe warren's insistence on saving all living things in our house is an attempt to offset her murderous ways.

Each Spring Warren tries to keep Olive inside. Most adult birds don't stand a chance against her, much less babies.

Yet, a couple of weeks ago, there was a healthy, happy, baby bird right in our flower bed. Warren immediately sequestered Olive and went on a search for the bird's mommy. When she couldn't be found, he let Olive out and brought the bird in.

Satchel had actually found a nest in the backyard a few weeks ago, so Warren sent him to get it. They made the bird a nice little retreat in an old kitty litter container. Next they went into the garden and dug up earthworms. Finally they got some chopsticks and fed them to the very grateful baby bird.

Tweet! Tweet! Tweet! The baby bird said.

Warren put the bird's house on top of the pantry so that our cat couldn't get to him. That night all I heard was TWEET! SQUEAK! TWEET! SQUEAK!

When I dragged myself out of bed the next morning, groggy from lack of sleep, I said, "If Olive doesn't kill that thing, I will."

Warren did his best to keep the baby bird away from me and Olive and he and Satchel continued to come up with new and exciting things to hand feed the baby bird. Warren knew he couldn't keep the bird forever, so he continued looking for its mommy--or any other robin really--with no luck. He called the wildlife center affiliated with Lichterman to see if they could take the bird, but they didn't want it if its mommy could be found. They said its mommy needed to teach it how to hunt for food.

As I watched the bird perk up and ruffle its feathers every time Warren got the chopsticks out, I said, "You can forget looking for the mom. That bird's spoiled."

The bird began to flourish and I actually got used to it being around. Watching the whole feeding ritual was really just too cute. And seeing the excitement on Satchel's face when the bird would sit on his finger was even cuter.

The bird began to fly from stick to counter and then back again. "He's growing up!" Satchel exclaimed.

I even found myself talking to the baby bird in Motherese. It had two little tufts of feathers on its head that made it irresistible. We never named it and we still planned on taking it to a refuge, but we weren't in a hurry for it to leave our family.

On Sunday, our jaunt to the lake turned into a twelve hour ordeal thanks to Satchel busting his chin open enough to warrant a trip to the E.R. At 3am, when we got home, the bird was beside itself. Warren fed him right away, but at 8am when he left for work, he said, "I'm worried about the bird. He's being very quiet."

When he came home that evening, the bird was dead. Satchel asked, "How can he be dead if his eyes are still open?"

Warren got his shovel and headed to the backyard. He dug a hole big enough for the whole nest and covered it with some cloth. Satchel helped fill in the hole with dirt and we all said something like, "We'll miss you birdie." I think Satchel said, "I'm not going to see you anymore." Warren lit some incense and that was that.

Bye bye birdie.

1 comment:

Chip said...

....overwhelmed with posts... can't... keep... up!

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