Sunday, February 3, 2013

Accidental Nightingale




An old neighbor I call my personal Florence Nightingale once found a chick on the ground and had adopted it for a few months, feeding and sheltering him until he could fend for himself. It had the run of the house all that time, much to the annoyance of her husband who didn't cotton to finding bird poop on his socks. But when she finally gave in and tried to give it wing, she discovered it didn't want to leave. So she brought it to my house (a quarter mile away) in a cardboard box hoping that when she let it loose in unfamiliar surroundings it'd fly off. It flew right to my bald head and sat there for quite some time before I gently moved it to my finger and then my arm. I had a little chat with it, explaining that all little birds must find their way in life, without humans; and after an hour or so he finally took his leave. I pretend I still see him now and then and chit chat with the occasional finch. Lucky for me, they never tell me I've got the wrong bird:) As in a poem...

Accidental Nightingale

In her hands were just hatched robins; in her eyes, two mouths to feed
In her mind ‘twas childhood innocence, one guiltless for her deed
In her heart the chicks were lonely, they were peeping “Oh so loud”,
and I’d not the will to tell her she’d no call to be so proud

For their mother soon was screeching as she hopped about the nest
and the birds within her calling range would all become distressed
as a thief was in the local wood, a carnivore most foul
and the lovely songs the birds would sing soon turned to twittered scowl

But the task at hand was mothering, so to the books we flew
where the girl learned how to replicate what mother robins do
Jenny found an empty wooden crate and filled its floor with straw
then she set the chicks within their nest, her tear filled eyes in awe

For some weeks she fed them bugs and grubs and water from a spoon
In the sunlight she might read to them of bunnies and raccoons
In the evening she would sing a soft and lilting lullaby
of the wondrous gift, to be a bird, a master of the sky

Jenny cried when I said “let them go, it’s time they spread their wings
they’ve a hundred trees to perch on and a hundred songs to sing”
But she took her little children to the world and set them free
Now she thinks she sees them daily

and I never disagree

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