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Welcome Home from the Caribbean (Or How to Rescue Abandoned Baby Birds)

I’m interrupting the Wise Words series for this breaking news…

photo by Lin Pernille Photography via flickr

If, early on a Monday morning, you walk outside and hear the sweet sound of new baby birds chirping, it will make you smile. “The world is good,” you will think.

If later that Monday afternoon those baby birds are still chirping, but now sounding desperately hungry, you’ll begin to worry. You’ll start keeping your eye out for mama bird. But you won’t see her.

On Tuesday morning, you still won’t see her. Or Tuesday afternoon. By Tuesday night, the baby birds won’t sound so quite so chirpy. You’ll begin to wonder about the goodness of the world.

On Wednesday morning you will rise early and go straight outside to listen for chirps. You’ll hear them! They’re still alive, no thanks to mama bird, who has either flown the coop or met her match in the neighborhood cat.

By Wednesday afternoon, you’ll begin to feel desperate, right along with the chirping birdies. You’ll recruit your tallest son to climb a ladder and peer down into the basketball hoop post, where the aforementioned negligent mama made her nest. The smell from the nest will be bad. Your son will report that at least one bird is dead. He won’t volunteer to inspect any further.

For all your bravado in the rest of your life, you won’t even pretend to be able to stomach peering at a dead bird. You’ll worry that it’s the mama, who flew down into the post keep her chicks warm, and found herself stuck beneath the fat, metal bolt.

You’ll call a friend, whose husband is in town this week, unlike yours. She won’t answer. You’ll call another. She won’t answer either.

You’ll Google. You’ll consider feeding them wet dog food. You’ll wonder how to accomplish this without actually looking at a dead mama bird.

Soon enough, you’ll walk over to your neighbor, explain your dilemma, and he will be your Knight in Shining Armor. He’ll spend the next hour climbing up and down a ladder trying to save the baby birds, who are rather far down in the post, with long spoons and tongs and other kitchen accessories. His brother will arrive, dapper in the kind of plaid shorts I love. Together they will hatch a plan until, finally, the brother will plunge his hand way down into the post, pluck the 3 living baby birds from the nest, and place them into the small cooler you’ve pulled from the garage.

I know it’s hard to believe, but what will happen next is this:  You’ll put that cooler into your car, and drive 75 miles an hour on the highway, in a dark, stormy, downpour to the home of a woman who does animal rehabilitation and rescue. You found her on Google.

Operation Baby Bird Rescue

You’ll also call another friend and ask her to pick your son up from the movie theater. Thank goodness she agrees. She’s nice that way.

And that, my friends, is how my week back from the islands began. If you should ever start a Monday this way, I suggest Googling “animal rehabilitator,” just in case.