Tuesday, May 4, 2010

caution! bird's worms - do not eat!

baby birds were literally dropping from the sky.  it was a windy day, storms were quickly approaching.  while rick and the children worked in the yard, the trees blew hard.  large branches, leaves, and twigs pelted our lawn.  unfortunately,  baby birds were tossed down as well. what exactly do you do with itty bitty birds fallen from high nests?  of course we knew not to handle them much...i repeated the warning i had heard as a child, "a mother bird will not return if a human hand touches her baby."  as a little girl, i remember thinking, "are you kidding me?  what kind of mother is that?"  i have always had sort of a tender nook in my heart for needy wildlife.  my mother tells stories of me hiding sick rabbits in shoe boxes deep in my closet, with the hope of nursing them back to health. as a child,  i walked each day a few blocks to school with my friend and classmate, larry bocci.  in our early elementary days we were known to drag home a variety of injured or distressed animals ( i.e, roadkill).  we also were the ones to bring home broken beer bottles (because they were pretty) and even one january a discarded and dried out christmas tree (because i couldn't fathom anyone wanting to throw away their christmas tree).
    so here we were with some baby birds placed in bushes around our yard.  we hoped they would make it back into their nests if we just left them alone.  we hoped if we kept the cats indoors these little creatures might have a chance.  monday morning dawned and the rain came hard and fierce.  before school tyler and i realized one of the baby birds was still on the front grass, not well protected from the driving rain.   in his school uniform he ran out and moved it underneath a bush.  this bush could only provide so much protection, however. between our cats and the neighbor cats, it was only a matter of time before this baby would be discovered.  so yesterday we came to the conclusion that we would have to start providing for it ourselves.  my children needed no convincing.  worms were dug up.  water was brought out, and eventually a little bed was created in a protected cage.  sarah elizabeth begged me to consider allowing it to live in her room in the decorative white wooden cage on her dresser.   she reminded me of another little girl from long ago.   we finally settled on a corner of the deck.  i knew she'd be in good hands with my third child.  this is the same child that announced as a tiny girl, "don't read me that bird book again, mama!"  you know the one.  p.d. eastman's "are you my mother?"  yes, the one where the baby bird is left alone and has to travel around town in search of his mother.   the mother does return...she was only gone in search of food for her birdie...but, nonetheless, whether 4 or 40 it is a tear jerker.
   last night i returned from a school meeting to find holes in my yard and flower beds. i had a moment of frustration - that was newly planted grass...and those flowers hadn't been there very long either.  but i had to laugh when i walked into the kitchen and found this note taped to the backsplash above a plastic container, "caution! bird's worms - do not eat!"  apparently sarah is well aware that her siblings eat everything and anything in the kitchen and could, perhaps, be tempted by the clear container of dirt and wiggling worms.   the children are now hand feeding this sweet baby.  it eagerly opens its little mouth waiting for its dinner.  this morning tyler and i were up quite early.  we sat at the kitchen window and watched as the mother returned with a mouth full of worms. she hadn't forgotten her baby!  human hands had been all over this little feathered gal and yet the mama returned.  i just knew it had always been an old wives tale...something i was told in order to keep the chaos level (and pet level) under control.  tyler and i sat and watched in great wonder.  this mother now sits on a limb off to the side of our deck and has been there ever since.  we are going to have to release this little friend soon.  we know that.  she doesn't belong with us, but we are so glad she's been here to visit. we also know how this might end.  we have cats.  we have had more than our share of nature and its sometimes brutal endings. and yes, i even have holes in my yard and worms on my counter, but i am certain they are worth the sweet memories in our hearts.

1 comment:

Goodness and Mercy Mom said...

Oh what a precious story and photos. I just love how everything--from baby birds to "made in China" labels--reminds you of God's faithfulness in your adoption journey.

We are still praying your Bella Grace home. I can't wait for that sweet announcement of TA. Please, Lord, soon!

Much Love,