Friday, July 4, 2014. Who was I to badmouth blackbirds? Shame on me. And I mean that!
Two days ago baby and I were out strolling around (he turns 2 on the 20th – weather was great – a rather rare treat – and the stroller is our transportation). When I came back I noticed a small plastic tub I don’t own under a little white table on my “patio” I had scrounged one day a month ago from the apartments’ dumpster. What?
And then the sound of whispering wings flapping on the ground. A broken legged, broken winged small blackbird?
Within moments of my arrival back home a young boy, I suppose about 12 who seemed autistic rushed up to me. “Will you take the bird to a doctor?”
“Oh, no,” I had to tell the boy, who immediately problem-solved. “Well, I will go tell the office then.” Off he ran with all the innocent blessed faith a human can muster.
He did not come back. The bird did not leave.
Terror in its little wise eyes, the bird scooted itself into the cool damp shade between my 5-gallon white buckets on my cement slab that serve as my flower garden (often robbed beyond my sight of any bloom that can be captured by child fingers).
In the heat of afternoons the apartments’ many young children romp around the cattail pond – and up to my little area – this time terrifying the helpless, wounded bird. I tried to talk to the children about leaving the bird alone. Moslem refugee children from Africa. Little immigrant children from Nepal. All too young and so innately enthusiastic and curious. So busy. So LOUD.
I was afraid to pick the bird up for fear of hurting it further so herded it down to the reed pond where it instantly disappeared into welcoming fallen brown sticks and stiff growing greenery. End of story?
After the hot sun disappeared over the tallest northwest apartment building’s roof I went outside and the bird was back. Devouring cracker crumbs. I spoke to it and left it alone to determine its fate the best it could.
Yesterday morning the bird was gone. The neighbor’s large black cat prowled the reed pond all morning. The bird?
Last evening at 5:00 pm the bird was back searching for food in the area of the grass by my cement slab upon which I throw crumbs. What to do?
The bird is now ensconced in my bathtub on an old towel with a box to hide itself in. I cannot tell the extent of its injuries. Leg, wing AND tail? The bird can spread both wings out beside it and pull itself forward with one good leg at AMAZING speed. Sometimes if I approach it very slowly with quiet speech it lets me stroke its feathers. Other times it becomes frantic.
So – I have a little wounded representative of the wild bird kingdom living in my tub. Such stamina! What a life force! I will need to create some kind of safe haven in the house for it – somewhere the baby cannot reach. It eats and drinks water just fine. How long will it live? What kind of pain is it in?
Meanwhile — there is an entity in my apartment. A friend. A teacher.
I will not put it back outside to be torn apart by a cat. One moment at a time this bird and I will move forward through time the best that we can. What else is new?
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