Thursday, June 12, 2008

Rest In Peace, Little Faker

Two days ago Olivia came in from the backyard to tell me that she found a dead bird. I walked out to see it so we could get rid of it, and it fluttered it's wings and flew away. It looked like it might have had an injury, but I couldn't really tell. I'm not an animal person, but I was filled with compassion for this sweet little creature. I had grand visions of nursing it back to health in a box with soft cloth and fresh worms for all of its meals. But it was gone, so I didn't think about it much more. I wondered how we would make a splint for a bird?

Yesterday I was mowing the lawn. This is a necessary activity (evil) that tends to make me grumpy and say swear words under my breath (or out loud, because the roar of the beast that is our lawn mower drowns it all out anyway). I discovered the poor birdie again, and thought that it had succumbed to it's injury and finally died. I got really close to it, and it fluttered it's wings again, and hopped away, but stayed in the general vicinity. My instinct to nurture it and love it was gone, replaced by an annoyance that it was in my path and was making it difficult to keep my lines straight. By the time I had finished mowing, the bird was nowhere to be seen.

Today I looked out the window and saw it again, and it looked still. I told Olivia to go and check it out ("But DON'T touch it, animals carry disease!"). She came back and reported, "I found the faker out there." "The faker?" I asked. "Yeah, you know, that bird that keeps faking that it's dead, then it flies away," she explained. I couldn't help but laugh at it's new name: "The Faker".

She returned a few minutes later to tell me that she thought it wasn't faking anymore, there were flies buzzing all around it. Our little birdie bit the dust. Is it wrong that I had to stifle another laugh? If only we had a vulture or two to circle the vicinity. I went outside with a shovel and we had a brief moment of silence, then we carried it to the garbage can, and put it to rest.

I must say, I was relieved that it wasn't suffering anymore, and even more relieved that I didn't feel the pressure to make it well. And glad that when I mow the lawn next week I won't have to dodge that little faker and I can focus on my swear words and lines in the lawn.

Rest in peace, little friend.


Kristi said...

Yuck! I have a weird phobia of birds and I was cringing while I was reading your entire post. I commend you for (initially) wanting to help it and for helping it find it's resting place. I think I would have been throwing up!

LAURA & ELIZA said...

EW! I hate dead animals in my area. YUCK! Funny story though!

avalon88 said...

OK, I HAVE to comment on the bird story! Last year we had a very loud family of birds take up residence in our yard. The babies were quite young, and we discovered that one of the parents (we're pretty sure it was the daddy) would hobble around like he was injured anytime someone(or some other animal) would come anywhere near the nest (these birds nested on the ground). It would drag its wing and wail like it was injured, and pointedly lead you away from the nest. If we went near the nest anyway, he would squawk louder and louder, trying to lure us towards him, and away from his babies. We were so fascinated that he was so smart and protective, and it gave us a whole new respect for birds!! Hopefully your bird wasn't just trying to protect his family... I really think that animals have more emotions than we might think!