Yesterday as I was heading back to work after my lunch break, I noticed a peculiar sight. There was a robin hanging from a tree branch in my front yard. At first, I thought she was dead. Then I saw a flap of a wing, a bit of a struggle.
I noticed a nest starting a few branches higher. But something went terribly wrong. There was a black line, like fishing line, wrapped around the tree and around the wing of the bird. Every time the bird tried to break free, she wrapped her wing around the small branch again and again.
I approached the bird in a panic wondering what to do. I was afraid of the bird. The bird was afraid of me too. I spoke quietly panicked F words to the bird. I went back inside the house and grabbed a scissors. I started to cut away the line entrapping the bird. As I cut closer, the bird shrieked loudly. Panic took over my body. The tunnel vision started, my stomach acid built, and I started shaking. I was terrified to cut closer to the bird’s body, but I couldn’t leave it there to die.
So I did the next best thing after wimping out. I found someone to help me free the bird. He cut the line that was wrapped tightly around the wing. The bird fell to the ground and quickly ran away too injured to fly.
Then I started ruminating about horrible things. I thought about the nature shows I’ve watched where sea animals are caught in fishing nets. Or of all the animals that I hit with my car. Maybe some were pets. The dog that looked like mine that I saw dead along the highway years back. The pets that I lost. The fish that swallowed the hooks.
By far the worst thing that happened was a few years ago. I almost hit a deer at dusk. I slammed on my brakes just missing the deer. He ran quickly past me to the woods that was surrounded by a fence. The deer hit the fence at full force and did a flip. It was kind of comical at the time so I laughed. It felt good to relieve my nerves from the stress of almost hitting the deer. The deer was stunned from hitting the fence, but seemed to be fine. So I left.
A few weeks later I was driving down the same road when I looked over at the area where I almost hit the deer. I noticed a dead deer that was tangled up in the fence. I knew it had to be the deer that I almost hit, that he didn’t end up being alright after all. I felt so horrible. Maybe I should have stayed longer to make sure the deer was okay. I felt guilty for my laughter. Things didn’t turn out okay like I thought they did at the time. It had to be the same animal, right? I NEVER would have left that animal there if I knew it was hurt or in any pain. It really bothered me.
Today when I came home for lunch, I saw the injured bird. Paul armed himself with a fishing net and I carried the cat carrier. We trudged around the neighborhood in attempts to capture the injured bird. I want to tell you that we caught it and brought it to the wildlife refuge like I planned, but we couldn’t catch it. The bird escaped into a muddy field. Now it probably would’ve been amusing watching us chase a bird in knee deep mud, but we had to give up. We couldn’t even catch it while on solid ground.
I can sense the storm approaching. The temperature dropped and the winds are ferociously howling. The ominous threat of a blizzard lingers. By tomorrow we are supposed to have a foot of snow whipping around in 40 mph winds.
I can’t control everything. I can’t protect everyone. I did the best I could. I am just going to have to let this go…