A Little Bird Told Me

. . . will I be able to teach Linda to fly and fend for herself?

About a week ago, I was letting myself into my house after a particularly tiring day at work, and while standing on my little porch all-thumbing it through my ring of keys (I need them all; really!), I heard a soft noise. Right off the left edge of the porch a baby bird softly peeped from a bed of moss. And I mean baby bird. I looked up into the evergreen that towers above my house and spied a nest some fifteen feet or so above me. I could see the tail feathers of the mother bird sticking out of the nest in an indifferent manner that suggested she'd turned her back on her tiny charge. There had been no high winds, and the wee thing was far too young to attempt flight, so I assumed the mother had pushed it out for some reason known only to Mother Nature.

It simply isn't in my nature to let a creature lie there and die, and even though the voice of my late mother drifted through my head telling me that if I touched the bird my "human smell" would seal its doom, and not even God him/herself would help the poor thing, I scooped it up, took it into the house, made a bed for it in a cardboard file box by layering a bath towel over a heating pad set on Low, and made a beeline to Pet Smart where I found powdered baby bird food.

Now, after a full week and many eyedroppersfull of the rich, pudding-like bird food, the baby bird—it's a dove, by the way, and I've named her "Linda"—is getting along like a house on fire. Linda is growing like a weed, and I have turned out to be a pretty good momma bird! Every morning I prepare Linda's "formula," and she peeps and squirms and flaps until I fill her crop 'til she can hardly sit up. And when I get home from school, we do it all again. Her feathers are filling out, and her wingspan is pretty impressive for a baby!

How will I wean Linda from mush to solid food, and will I be able to teach Linda to fly and fend for herself?

Stay tuned . . .


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