Saturday, March 24, 2012

Saving a Life

 When a tiny goldfinch or energetic sparrow hits the kitchen window occassionally, my heart always falls, and I leap up and run out to see if all is well. Most times, with a rustle of bushes, the only-dazed flyer bursts out and flutters up to recoup in the trees. But sometimes there is a crumpled soul in the planter, eyes closed, motionless. Time for action.

Bearwalker taught me about saving birds and I've seen him many times sitting in his chair, big warm hands closed over a little feathered form--comforting and safe and...healing.

I head outside, looking into the ferns for signs of feathers. There he is...a lesser goldfinch, curled into himself, black and white wings loose and bright yellow breast barely rising. If I left him there, he would die. In shock, cold and alone, chances are good his little heart would stop. I pick him up and take him inside.

Cupping him to my own chest, I cover his head, creating a warm dark nest, like Bearwalker would do. My addition to the process is conversation. I murmur to him about what's happening outside the window, tell him someone out there is watching and waiting for his return.

After fifteen minutes, he stirs. A little wiggle. I uncover him and he blinks up at me. We go to the sink, I give him a drop of water at a time until he swallows. And poops on my palm. Twice.

Back outside, we stand in a patch of sunlight and I open my hand. "Are you ready?"

He sits for a few long minutes - wonderful and sweet long minutes for me - and then in a flash of yellow and black, is gone.

There are little lives all around us, their dramas and sorrows as real as our own. Today was a good day for us both.


  1. That little bird was in especially good hands. This warms my heart, too.

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