I don’t know how it happened, but it seems we have become the local animal rescue as of late. Last time I checked, my name was not Diego and I didn’t have a magical orange rescue pack. But here we are again.
No more than a few hours after I posted about the great turtle rescue, the boys came bursting through the door from the back yard, yelling something about a baby bird in the grass. My stomach sort of did a flippity flop because I knew the likelihood of our day ending in tears over a sun-baked dead baby bird was pretty high. I told them not to touch it (hello, there’s not enough hand sanitizer in the world for that) and to leave the little guy alone. Secretly hoping, of course, that some neighborhood cat would come and take care of the poor chap so I wouldn’t have to.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my boys more than anything, but they listen about as well as a rock. So it was a mere 20 minutes later that they were back in the yard, hovering over that bird. But this time? He was in the pool. Great. Now I was going to have to fish a dead bird out of the pool. I figured I shouldn’t let him drown, so I (reluctantly) went outside to investigate.
Sure enough, there he was, perched on a floating stick, squawking away for his mother, who, as it turns out, was the most beautiful vibrant orange Oriole I had ever seen. I reached in and grabbed the stick, and the plump little dude was happy to go along for a ride. I sat the stick down at the base of a tree, and there he sat.
He was obviously not ready to be flying anywhere. Still covered in downy fluff, he flew about as well as a lead balloon. He chirped and chirped for his mama, but he couldn’t go anywhere. I knew this wasn’t going to end well, so I went back to the porch and sat in my lawn chair.
But as I watched, his mama came to the ground and perched right beside him on the stick. First she fed him, but she stayed longer than I expected. From a distance, it looked as though she was whispering in his ear, and I wasn’t really sure what she was up to. Eventually she flew up into the tree, so I went to check him out. I was completely amazed at what I saw.
He looked like a brand new bird! Sleek and shiny, completely void of that downy fluff that had covered him just minutes before. His mama had groomed him to prepare him for flight, and stepped back to watch him take off. It took a few tries, but eventually he began to find his wings.
I don’t know what circumstances led him to end up on the ground. Maybe he was pushed out of the nest, maybe it was an unfortunate accident, or perhaps he got a little cocky and made a bad decision before he was ready. Whatever it was, his mama could have easily written him off and left him to suffer the consequences. But she didn’t. She came to his rescue, cared for him, and prepared him as best as she could for the next phase of his life. The rest, she just had to trust he could make it though.
Sometimes, as a parent, when your kids get themselves into less than ideal situations, it would be so easy to throw your hands in the air, give up and leave them to find their own way out of the mess they’ve gotten themselves into. And many times, even when we try, we may not be able to truly repair the situation in the way we had hoped. But that mama bird and her little one are a great reminder of what we are able to do, and that is to love them, prepare them as best we can for whatever comes next, and trust the Lord to carry them through.
And if you have ever found yourself in that little bird’s place, maybe today would be a good time to let your “mama bird”, whomever that may be, know how much you appreciate all the times you’ve been rescued.