1/13/14

Pigeon . . .

So the other day we the kid and I were heading out to run a few errands and help a friend who had just had surgery get out and do a few things, too.

As we left my driveway I noticed something in the nearest intersection . . . a pigeon getting picked at (literally) by two other birds - specifically some big, nasty crows. I pulled over to see if the bullied bird (let's just extend bullying on to the bird community and leave it alone) was at least dead enough to be a meal. It was not.

If I had been alone, I would have probably just moved the bird (with a clearly broken wing and some newly minted additional wounds) out of the intersection and let Darwinism and boorish black birds do their collective things but the kid was with me and was immediately concerned for the well being of this winged rodent that provides no human (to the best of my knowledge) with any benefit or value. "Wellllll, sh*t!" (I thought.)

I found a cardboard box and scooped up our new dependent, put him in the back of my borrowed truck and off we went. We picked up our passengers (who seemed very surprised that, how, and why we had a bird in tow) and headed out to do our things all while my daughter worried, openly, about the bird.

Some suggestions . . .

1) Bandages and splints
2) Veterinarians and insurance co-pays (we could apparently claim the bird was her for sake of coverage)
3) Hospitals
4) Teaching it to fly again
5) Killing the other birds for being so mean (this one was quickly retracted, thankfully)

We ultimately used the coincidental convenience of having to stop by a local hospital anyway for me to remove the box from the back of the truck and leave it outside an Emergency Room. No, I do not know what happened to the bird - I presume its wing and wounds miraculously cured themselves and that bird is living a fuller, happier, healthier life today. No. I don't.

Here's the thing . . . I'm not a bad or uncaring person but I am NOT an "animal person" (I love my guinea pig, Gus and have been known to enjoy a dog or two in my days) and I am very, very loving to most of my fellow man (besides those I have zero interest or regard in - I'm being honest, people) but I don't know that I have ever sat down and talked about empathy with my daughter (her mother surely has) but it was curious to see how emotionally tied she became to this bird and how quickly.

Actual tears were released. Dozens of questions were asked. Conversations were interrupted to clarify answers to those questions. Hours and even days later there were follow-up discussions on topics ranging from "why do things/people get sick" to "what happened to the bird" to "why can't we add wild animals to our insurance coverage".

That my child has a big heart that welcomes strange, wounded animals in to it makes me happy. She'll probably help a lot more birds in her lifetime than the average person.