Saturday, May 24, 2008

Bye bye, birdie

My little tryst with bird-rearing took a bizarre, tragic turn yesterday - a case of mistaken identity turned deadly.

I get home from work around 5 and go out back to feed the bird. She's missing from her little pen, but I'm not concerned; she can't fly very well yet, so whenever she escapes we always find her hopping around the yard soon enough. As long as we find her before the dogs do, all is right in the world.

I no sooner spot her than two squawking birds descend from the sky and divebomb my head. "That's odd," I think, since they've never cared about Birdie before. But maybe now that she's out and about, I reason, they're taking her under their proverbial wings. What good news!

An hour later my roommate comes home and grabs the bird without incident. Now that I have a closer look, though, there's something different about her. She looks awfully big.

"I don't think this is our bird," I tell Roomie.

"She's been growing really fast," Roommate says. "And, what, you think there are TWO lame birds in our yard?"

True. That'd be weird.

Still, Birdie's not acting like herself - she's won't eat. I thrust a fingerful of dog food toward her and she looks at me with daggers in her eyes. Oh well, I figure. Birdie doesn't need me anymore. Birdie's growing up.

So it seems logical enough when, moments later, my roommate declares it's Time to Teach Birdie To Fly. She's been close to airborne time and time again; she's almost there. She just needs a little nudge.

It's kind of a big moment. I take a couple photos with the bird, thinking she might just rise up into the trees and be gone forever. And then my roommate cradles our little bird friend in his hands and tosses her up into the air.

We expect Birdie to spread her little wings and flutter into a tree, or, worst case, lower herself gently back to the ground. We do not expect her to arc up like a football and then drop like a stone, face first, into the ground. Which is exactly what she does.

"Uh," my roommate says.

You don't want to know what happens next. Let's just say it involves me turning in circles with my hands over my eyes; someone saying "He's doing something weird with his tongue"; and my roommate's bad-ass girlfriend busting out of the house with a BB gun, screaming, "Well, do you want it to suffer or not?"

When the dust settles, the bird is ... well, the bird is no more.

I'm gutted. My sweet little bird! To think, all the good times we had, all those feedings, all those... other feedings. To have it all end so tragically, like this!

As I'm spiraling into the depths of despair, I see something out of the corner of my eye. Bailey and Roommate's puppy are sniffing around across the yard, and there's a commotion. What's that they've found?

It's THE BIRDIE! The REAL Birdie! The cute, little, hungry Birdie!

So who, then, is this dead bird lying in a heap at our feet? And the bigger mystery: why the hell is our yard teeming with crippled birds?

I'm feeling just terrible as I head inside to (repeatedly) wash my hands. I take a little consolation in the fact that Dead Stone-Head Bird must have been on her way out anyway, if she was just chilling on the ground, awaiting death by dog.

That doesn't seem to appease Dead Bird's posse, though, who now squawk "Murderer! Murderer!" every time I walk into the back yard.

And with that, my bird-raising days are officially over.

* * * RIP, RANDOM BIRD * * *

1 comment:

Christopher said...

Ahhh insane. Was this all today? Phew, I need a nap.