Monday, June 23, 2008

The Robin

I held a full grown, healthy Robin in my hands yesterday. It was rather ironic actually because a cat saved its life.

I had just gotten into the house after filling the bird feeders when I saw a cat come wondering through the back yard. It was causally walking along the sidewalk and, of course, I was panicking that it might be interested in one of the feeding birds. I opened the kitchen door and it ran off through the neighbor’s yard. I decided I should probably close the gate that I had left open earlier and so I went to the back gate and started to shut it.

Suddenly, I saw what I thought was a bird taking flight, but I realized that it never made it airborne. By the time I focused my eyes and became certain it was a bird it attempted to take flight once again. It was after this when I saw the Robin was entangled in fishing line. The line was wound around the fence and the car antenna, and continued on around the Robin’s neck and one of its feet. The poor little thing was obviously scared to death but I stood back for a moment and she quelled the fleeing instinct. She sat on the hood of the van for a moment looking at me and I very slowly brought my hand toward her. She stayed still, I was worried she would try to fly again and hurt herself, as she had about three feet of slack. She continued to sit still and I spoke a little bit to her as I came closer, trying to maintain a calming voice. She allowed me to touch her and I clasped her gently into my hand. I unwound the fishing line, stroked her head and gave her a kiss (yes, I’m sentimental) and then turned her loose. She flew up to a limb on the tree just above us and sat there watching me. I could tell she was stressed, her mouth stayed open, but all in all she appeared no worse for wear.

It was really a neat experience. Birds are so soft and, yeah, you remember the adage: A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush? Well, now I can honestly say that it’s true. Even after seeing fifty or more crows gathered in my back yard, an awesome sight by the way, and viewing all of the other birds that come and go at the feeders; even watching the mommy and daddy birds feeding the babies, none of it compares to holding that Robin just for a few moments. There was a calmness, and a connection that took place between the two of us that no other experience can really express. I’ve held young birds before, but this was different because this bird was grown and not really hurt; it’s not like it needed to be nursed back to health. Does this make sense to anyone else? I think it was the trust that it showed, the way she just waited there for me instead of continuing to try and get away. It was like she knew I was going to help and, further, like she knew she was doing me a favor by allowing me to help her. It was cool and I feel all druidic like.

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