Friday, July 18, 2008

The Post In Which I Talk (mostly) About the Little Bird

"You're making lasagna!" she screamed. She pointed at my grocery cart and wagged her finger because, apparently, I was a very, very bad girl for making lasagna. In point of fact, I was NOT making lasagna, but I didn't bother to refute her because I was too busy trying to swallow my desire to point at HER cart and say, "Oh! Super Plus tampons! Your period must be about to start!"

Is it not basic etiquette to avert your eyes from another person's shopping cart? Honestly people.

Now I shall move on to my original post.

* * *

Yesterday a little ball of pulsing feathers was unceremoniously tossed out of its nest. It landed at my feet, where I stared at it for a moment. We were already running late for an orthodontist appointment, so I never should have said anything to my kids, but to have remained silent would have made me a rather poor excuse for a mother. "Look!" I said. "A baby bird! Okay, we gotta go!"

Of course, much madness and many overwrought exclamations followed. "A poor baby bird! Oh what shall we do! Oh where are its parents! Oh we cannot just leave it here! Oh a predator may happen upon it and then it will not survive! Oh! Oh! Oh!"

I managed to pack my brood into the car by saying that the bird's mother would undoubtedly find it in a few minutes. "Oh but what if she doesn't?" Then, I lied, we'll take care of it. I felt certain that by the time we returned nature would have taken its course and some neighborhood cat would have had a nice, crunchy little snack.

But wouldn't you know it? When we got back and the girls tumbled out of the car and through the gate and down the path, the thing was still sitting where it fell. At this juncture, please insert more overwrought exclamations.

I sighed. "Okay, wait here and make sure nothing eats it. I'll go see what we're supposed to do." One quick Google search later, I emerged from the house holding a little plastic container lined with tissue. "Put him in here," I said. "Wait!" I ran back inside and returned with some dishwashing gloves. "Put these on first."

Then, in accordance with my Googled instructions, we tucked the container inside a bush. "Okay. Leave him alone now, and his mama will come feed him." Well, I may as well have presented them with a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies and said I'm going to put this right here in the middle of the table, but don't eat any. Every time I left them unattended they were outside with "Galio," and even though I patiently explained in half a dozen ways that they needed to let him be, they could not. For reasons I SUPPOSE I understand, they were psychologically incapable of offering him any sort of fledgling/nestling privacy.

Finally the spousal unit came home and we were able to conjure up just enough combined power to keep them away from the poor thing. We set him back in his container in the bushes and went about our usual business. About an hour later, the mama and papa bird felt safe enough to swoop in and feed him, and, well, I have to admit something. I have to admit that I, your mean ol' Nesting Ground Mistress, got a little misty-eyed when I saw the family flapping their wings at each other and chirping and flitting about in obvious bird delight.

Of course, it might also have been my allergies. We'll never know for sure.


Gladys said...

my hero(ine)!

i shuddered a bit at the thought of having to handle a baby bird (i've had nightmares of accidentally killing little birds), but i'm glad to know that the parent-bird will come back for the baby bird once it's safe in the bushes.

jean said...

how could the mistress of NESTING GROUND not rescue a baby bird?? good work, good karma.