Monday, July 15, 2013

Little Bird, Little Bird

Knocks on our front door are rare and yet, predictable. Predictable in the way that unexpected and unsolicited knocks are. The balance of trying to keep Buddy in the house while somehow controlling his bark. The shuffle of finding shoes, adjusting my hair and preparing an excuse to turn the person at the door away.

But tonight's knock was met on the other side with pajama'd neighbors and distressed faces.

"We didn't know what to do, but we know you work at an animal hospital."

On the driveway next door, a baby bird huddled in under his own feathers, attempting to disappear into the pale concrete. Trevor, not worried about the tiny beak's bite, moved toward him just as he shuffled away. Unable to fly, unsteady with his wings.

The tiny bird hopped left to right, teetering back and forth, across the pavement.

Terrified of the people surrounding him, likely too aware of the calls from the birds above, the tiniest bird froze. Once in the shelter of Trevor's palm, he held on tight, unwilling to fall again. Tiny claws wrapped around not-so-tiny fingers, little feathers shaking in the quickly-cooling breeze, a tiny beak opening and closing without noise.

The situation was quickly assessed - three nests found in just as many minutes. In the first, the lowest, the most accessible, baby birds with beaks peeking above the edge. The next, up the tallest tree possible. The last, even further above the last. From the ground, all that could be seen were less-than-sturdy branches and discarded feathers clinging to brown nests, despite the wind.

An extending ladder from across the street. An old gray t-shirt from Trevor's immense collection. A brave climb to the top of the tree. Held breath while the ladder rocked and the branches creaked, with my love balanced against them, far enough above the ground.

And a baby bird once again safe and sound, perched high above the dangers of our human world.

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