Friday, December 18, 2009

A Tale of Twelve Feathers

Those of you who have read my blog for any amount of time know that I love 'my' birds!  I have several feeders, three of which are hanging on hooks on the deck, just a couple of feet outside my office/studio window.  Right now I see a downy woodpecker eating off of the suet feeder, a dark eyed junco sitting on the deck rail, a Carolina wren eating dropped seeds off the deck, and several titmice, nuthatches and chickadees eating off the other feeders.  I LOVE my birds!

And one of my favorite things to do is 'rescue' birds who have gone astray.  You see, we have a very tiny screened porch right off the breakfast room and dining room.  It is probably less than 6' wide and maybe 9 feet long.  We long ago took the screen door off the hinges because it was too much trouble opening and closing two doors to let the girls out.  So, from time to time birds get into the screened porch and can't find their way out.  That makes my dogs go crazy, and thus calls for a rescue operation!  I have held goldfinches, a dove, a cardinal, titmice, a dark eyed junco, and I can't remember what else, but you get my point.  For me to be able to hold these gorgeous things in my hands is such a joy!  Holding a cardinal was a precious gift, because they are so scary and don't normally let humans get close enough to them to be caught.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago the girls started barking and I knew that bark.  I looked out the door, and sure enough there was a female cardinal on the screened porch and she couldn't find her way to the door.  I made the girls move back and I quietly went outside.  I started talking to her, and she just lost it, fluttering back and forth, up and down, trying to fnd the exit.  I inched my way closer to her, talking calmly, telling her she didn't need to be afraid of me, I'd done this before and I hadn't hurt anyone yet.  Yet!  She went down on the floor and tried to get out a small hole in the screen,  (Insert note here, the bottom half of the porch has screen on the inside and lattice on the outside.) but it wasn't big enough and she apparently was stuck.

I reached down to get her, and barely grasped her tail feathers, and she bolted!  Out of my hand, and out of the door, leaving all 12 of her tailfeathers in my hand.  I almost cried!  What was I going to do.  Shoot!  What was SHE going to do!  I brought the feathers into the office and got on the internet.  No problem, they will grow back in about 6 weeks.  They lose them regularly anyway, just not all at one time!

So, I tied up the twelve tail feathers with a ribbon and keep them on my work table.  I don't know what they are supposed to remind me of, except maybe the one that got away!   Or maybe that sometimes it's okay to lose something you think is vitally important in order to let something better grow back in it's place.

But the very next day I was sitting here at my desk and looked out and a gorgeous male cardinal was sitting on the frame underneath our deck table.  It was raining (of course!) and he was staying dry, but just a few feet away, there she was, with her little stub of a tail, eating away, and being watched carefully by her man.  And I do mean carefully, because he sat there until she was full and they both flew away.  So even though she looked different, her man still loved her very much.

And yes, next time there's a bird that needs rescuing, I'll be there to do it.  I just won't grab the tail feathers again!  Have a great weekend friends!  Blessings, Becky


tara said...

I liked your moral of the story, perfect! happy weekend Becky~

bennie and patsy said...

Hi Becky, Marydon got us mixed up she wants you to e-mail her about a bird. She left it on my comments.

Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas Becky! What a cute story about the Cardinal. You should add some beads or crystals etc. to those feather and add them to your tree!

bennie and patsy said...

I guess I was the one mixed up it was about a bird I had posted.

Karen said...

Yes, good story. True love see beyond the tail feathers.

Lissa said...

cute cute story! Have a wonderful christmas!