Monday, August 12, 2013

Soaring high ...


Marlene Terry
Had me rooting for it every day, that sweet little baby goldfinch that I assume fell out of its nest a little too early.

I was out by our vegetable garden when I first saw it. And you can laugh if you want to, but I thought I saw a look of fear on that baby's face.
A natural instinct, it tried to fly up and away, but instead nose-dived into the grass, its tiny wings fluttering. Then it pulled itself up and shuffled off to a space under a nearby rosebush.

Got down on my knees for this one, not only to view the bird's quivering little body as it peered from underneath the leaves, but to assure it that I meant no harm. I also offered up a quick prayer that with so many hurdles and dangers ahead from other birds, cats and who knows what else, this little creature would be protected and survive.

A similar process followed each day following my first sighting. ... I looked for the bird and would happen onto it every day somewhere near the garden.
When it remained still it was nearly invisible in its surroundings. But when I got too close for comfort, it, shaking and startled, would head for a safer place.
"Why doesn't it just stay underneath the rosebush?" I wondered out loud one day.   

... And that's when it happened.

From within the big tree near the garden, a bright yellow adult goldfinch made a pass barely above my head. ... Even heard the rush of wind through its wings as it glided and landed just a few feet in front of me. It held something firmly in its beak.
"Wow," I thought. "It must be injured to land that close."

Suddenly there was movement near the rosebush as well. It was the baby ... running, hopping, fluttering and speaking.
OK. I'm not going to pretend that I understand and speak Finch. But what I'm sure was being said was something akin to ... "Mommy, Mommy," or "Daddy, Daddy," (not being certain which one it was). "I'm so glad to see you. Thank you for bringing me lunch!"
To which the parent replied after feeding its baby. "Eat and grow strong Sweetie. And practice flying until you can soar high with us. ... Until then, we're right here!"

A few days later my search for the baby bird ended with the sight of it sitting on the fence. This time I watched from behind my glass patio door, so as not to disturb the reunion. ... The adult was perched there too.
...  And after several minutes of what I'm sure was encouragement the baby spread out its wings and ... you guessed it, soared high ... ... to the cheers, applause and tears of its family of course ... and me!

♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at nutshellstories@gmail.com.