Thursday, February 26, 2009

Our Little Chickadee

On Sunday morning as the snow was piling up, Pipsqueak and I were in the kitchen when we heard a thunk against the deck door. I knew that sound... it was a bird hitting the window, but it didn't sound too loud, so I was hopeful. We went to the door, and I didn't see anything right away. Soon I noticed a couple of tiny, dark gray feathers stuck to the window, then slightly to the left on the ground in the snow, I saw a chickadee laying on its back. I thought it was dead until I saw one of its legs twitch. It looked so lifeless that I felt certain it would die soon, and I didn't want to give Pipsqueak any false hope, so I said, "I'm going to bring it in and put it in a box by the fire, so it won't have to die out in the cold, laying in the snow."

I put a towel in a box and donned my work gloves, and went out to get the bird. As soon as my hand went around it, it let out a hearty cheep. When I tried to put it in the box, it had grasped the glove with one of its feet and wouldn't let go. I didn't want to shake it loose, so I slipped the glove off and left it in the box with the bird.

It layed there on its side for a long time, breathing heavily. It moved its neck a bit, so that encouraged me. I grabbed a large piece of lace to put over the box, so we could still see the little guy. After several minutes, it got on its feet and shook itself a little. After a few more minutes, Monty, our dog, came up behind us without us noticing and stuck his head in the box. This startled the bird, who started flapping around. The lace went ascew and the bird started flying around the kitchen, finally perching on the ceiling fan. Since it hadn't fully recovered, I was able to stealthily come behind grab it with the glove on, and we let it go outside. It flew to a tree where it sat for 10 minutes or so, fluffing and grooming, before it flew off.

Pipsqueak was so happy and thanked me for a wonderful morning. I often wonder how she'll remember me when she's grown up. I hope she remembers me as animal savior and feeder of birds and deer, among other wonderful, happy things. She still talks about the time I stopped the car and got out to shoo a turtle across the road so it wouldn't get hit. But I don't do these things to impress her; I do them because I want to. It's a hard life out there for animals; they could use a little kindness and help.
I let Pipsqueak give it a couple of gentle pets since she was curious what a bird felt like. Then it was hands-off so the poor guy could rest in peace. Luckily it wasn't RIP as an epitaph.


Tammie said...

this is a beautiful story.

Lorilee said...

Awww, what a sweet story. The other day I found red feathers stuck to the window of our side door. Later, I discovered the deceased cardinal. It made me so sad. We also have had a Cooper's Hawk hit our back window. It hit so hard that it knocked a potted plant off the window sill! I think the hawk was chasing the sparrows that were nesting under the patio.

Mama Bee said...

Good Mommy!! I was *just* gonna write a post about this kind of thing on my blog - you beat me to it! ha! :)

Liz said...

Very cool. I bey your daughter smiled all day after that!

Anonymous said...

Doesn't that just make your day? Your week? Your month?? Nice work, good and faithful servant...

Beth said...

AWWW! That is so cute! That was so nice that you were able to see it recover and not have to have your daughter watch it die or anything!

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