Letting go of a broken wing

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 beĀ  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…


A game of cat and bird


I admit, this picture is not award winning. But it is one in a million. How often are you in the kitchen with your cat when a bird decides to peek in? Plus have the opportunity to take a picture before the moment passes. I have always been a bird magnet which causes conflicting polarity since cats have always been drawn to me as well. Or perhaps the bird was looking in hopes to find our neighbor that moved away. His massive gardens and bird feeders long gone.

A few days later, I was sitting on my deck listening to the old Pink Floyd song Cirrus Minor. The song begins with the melodic singing of birds. My new friend came over by me again. I think he must be lonely. I would recommend other Pink Floyd songs to him if he could get past The Wall, that is. He may relate to the raw feelings of loneliness in The Final Cut. Or like the sounds of clocks and bells, even the little sounds of bicycle bells that may honk at him. He may also like the sounds of other animals such as pigs, sheep, dogs, insects, or cows in other songs. Or the lonely seagulls cry in Set Controls for the Heart of the Sun. He may think some of the old songs are just too creepy. Some are, but if you dig far enough into the “Relics” there are a few hidden gems like Cymbaline, Julia Dream, and See Saw. Or “our song” which has always been Fat Old Sun, not Fat Old Son as my husband jokes. 

I have seen evidence of you, little bird, when I was gone. Little streaks of bird poop on my clothes drying on the line. I didn’t appreciate this, but I know I have to take the good with the bad. You do tolerate my cat. I might miss you when you decide to fly away. Some day I too will be alone when my little birds decide to leave the nest.