The noise was incessant. I mentioned it to my husband, who was working from home. "What is up with that BIRD?"
We noticed Kizzy staring intently at something just outside the window.
It was a baby bird. A fledgling goldfinch, fat as a tennis ball with tiny little legs.
And it was cheeping its heart out.
At first I laughed at Kizzy's interest, knowing he couldn't reach the bird.
Then I worried.
I called the nature center. They said no biggie, the parents are feeding it. It's just learning to fly.
I googled some things. The Internet said leave it alone.
I had lunch. I took some calls. I worked.
The cheeping continued.
My maternal instincts said something was wrong.
I moved outside to see if any parent birds were coming.
They were not.
I wondered how many hours the fledgling had been alone without food.
The baby bird tried to hop. He fell over.
I called the nature center again. I said, "There are no parents."
She said, "Are you sure he's a fledgling? It's late for that."
I said, "Yes. I'm positive."
She said, "Bring him in."
I went and got a shoe box and lined it with an old tshirt. I put on a garden glove and picked up the baby bird, who cheeped at me. I put him in the box.
I drove to the nature center.
I talked to the baby bird the whole way there. I told him it would be okay.
When I got there, I opened the box.
The first thing I saw were his hooked little feet. Hooked in a way they should not be hooked. His eyes were closed.
"Oh, no!" I gasped.
The nature center worker took the box, barely glancing at it. She patted my arm. "I'm so sorry," she said.
I gave her the box as the tears started streaming down my face. I did not want the dead bird's coffin anymore.
"I'm sorry," she repeated again as I turned to go.
As I drove home, tears streaming down my face, I thought about ISIS and ebola and genocide and war.
But I did not care.
That baby bird was in my backyard. On my deck. And if I had acted faster, I could've saved him.
I felt like we got to know each other a little.
He was my baby bird, and I failed him.