Falling Out of the Nest

Max is much better. Still a bit of coughing and his appetite isn’t very good. Watching him in distress this week created a flood of memories about other pets I’ve had. Strangely, a memory of  my earliest experience with the fragility of life kept  coming to mind.

Haiku-Heights

Death wants me to know

Never forget or ignore 

The meaning of  life

Back in the “olden days” when it was safe for kids to walk to school on their own I would find newborn birds that had fallen 20 – 30 feet out of their nests located in the huge palm trees which lined our street. I would gingerly carry them home, afraid that the very movement of walking would traumatize them.

My mother would patiently put the baby bird in a box lined with cotton towels and feed it with an eyedropper. Most didn’t even have fuzz, much too young to survive, but I knew my mother could do almost anything . . . except, as I learned, keep the babies alive.

Each year I walked that street it became painfully  more difficult. I was told that if a human touched the baby bird the mother bird would not want it. It never occurred to me that the mother bird couldn’t possibly carry its baby back to the nest high up in the palm.  It never occurred to me that the baby had sustained injury in the fall.  All I knew was a life was in peril.

It grew to be an excruciating decision: Pick the baby up and ensure it would be rejected by the mother; Leave it on the ground for the mother to find and be found first by a cat; or take it home to watch it die.  I always took the  baby home.

8 thoughts on “Falling Out of the Nest

    1. Glad to hear Max is on the mend — give him a scrath (spelling) for me.
      Sometimes we’ve (hubby and I) some tough decisions. When we were traveling we came across a lot of baby animals who had ventured out of the hole or fell from a tree. Traveling meant we couldn’t bring the baby home, so we left them — always telling the ranger where we had seen the little one, and making sure before we left it wasn’t in the middle of the hiking path.
      We also took a kitten to the police station and left a note at the ranger’s station about an incredible dog who protected us during the night from several invaders. Again we couldn’t take her and there was no room in the car (we were moving west to east and the car was full to the brim). We left her with food (some of our supplies — we had fed her the night before) and water, said good bye and thankyou, and left a note at the nearest ranger station — we couldn’t find a police station or fire house within a reasonable distance for them to be of assistance. That was the hardest decision we had made but she couldn’t travel with us, and as thankful as we were we knew that taking her along was removing her from her “home.” We don’t know if she wandered off (like the kitten) or had been “dumped” If she was lost, her owners would want to get her back (she had no dog tags).
      Your blog brought back more memories of fallen/lost/abandoned creatures in my life — I wasn’t allowed to bring baby birds home and nuture them like you did. You certainly are a kind and gentle soul and sorry I’m going on so — I had several episodes today and during them I get more long winded, lol.
      .

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