Thursday, June 28, 2007

stranger

He was sitting in the middle of the road, primly puffed and rusty red feathers tucked, and something in my heart liquified at the sight. He must be heartbroken, too stunned to move, unable to leave his mate, now a mess of dark skyward feathers all angles and sharp like bones, drops of blood like bling in the morning sun.

Transfixed, I managed to back out of the way of oncoming traffic, stopping on the side of the road trying to figure out what to do. A car drove by, inches from the grieving survivor, and I realized I was mistaken; he must be dead. I rolled forward, then stopped to look again. He just looked so alive. And sure enough, I saw his shiny eye blink at me. Again I started to roll, then stopped. He must be too injured to move, and I didn't want him left on the road for the next car to roll over him.

So Sugar D took one of Swee'pea's spare and now unused receiving blankets left over from the days when we couldn't leave the house without several receptacles for Swee'pea's frequent spit-ups. He picked up the survivor and put him on our front lawn. I hoped that someone would call an agency to rescue the bird, if he survived longer than an hour. (I would have done it myself but was freaking out about timing because Sugar D had a job interview in Toronto to get to).

When we got home, I'd forgotten. But Sugar D announced that he had to check on the bird on the porch. On the porch? Yes. He put him in an old Huggies box in the shade of the porch with a piece of bread and a bowl of water, along with the baby blanket for cushioning. Sure enough, when we peaked over the edge of cardboard, there was that same eye blinking back at me.

We called the local humane society, the university's wild bird rescue centre having closed from lack of funding. The woman who came thought he looked uninjured, but guessed he was sick, too sick to move away from the car. So I wonder: was it a fluke that he was next to that recently killed bird? Or were they both too sick to avoid traffic? Was it suicide, an escape from a miserable, terminal illness? I guess I'll never know.

7 comments:

Aliki2006 said...

Poor bird--so kind of you to stop and help it out a little. I hope it fares ok in the end.

slouching mom said...

Oh. This made me sad.

How nice that you did that.

NotSoSage said...

Birds have been my weakness ever since an experience I had when Mme L was a newborn and I saw a little one that had fallen out of the nest and it broke my heart to think of Mme L like that: helpless and lost and, really, doomed. I couldn't do anything for that little bird. I'm glad you did something for this one.

I hope Sugar D's interview went well.

Oh, The Joys said...

i remember a highway and a whole flock of swans trying to cross...stopping... trying to put an injured swan in the car...

Beck said...

Poor little bird. I have a nest of baby birds right in my kitchen window and I also have a yardful of neighbourhood cats. I hope the little birds make it.
And I've tagged you.

Kyla said...

Oh, poor birdie. So kind of you to help him out.

jen said...

oooh...a love pact. one bird was from the other side of the flock, the love of their feathers unbreedable, slowly they recognize their fate, to be featherless and alone, and a brave swoop they took the plunge to eternity.

but then the dude chickened (pun intended) out.