I would like to say in my defense that I thought it was a dove. You know, cooing, chocolates……mate for life, that sort of thing.
The kids were outside playing happily, Batman was wearing the cowboy costume that he checked out from school (note in the second picture that he has added his sister’s pink spurs to the ensemble).
I was in the house having a nice glass of pinot grigio (OK, who am I kidding. It was the regular cheap swill I always drink).
Suddenly the back sliding glass door flew open in a dramatic fashion and Horsecrazy rushed in. “Mom! Toby caught a bird!” Now that WAS news. Toby is our old man dog, almost thirteen, pretty much completely deaf and he can’t see that great either. I rushed to the yard to see just what type of feathered creature was so frail that it could be caught by such a feeble old dog. Toby was settling in to his favorite spot on the yard with a small gray creature in his mouth. It was the exact same spot he settles into when Handsome Husband throws him a raw beef bone or the kids throw one of the puppy’s chewies outside. You get the picture.
I yelled at Toby to put the bird down, but as I said, he can’t hear anyway, and then I rushed to the house to get a pair of gloves. I removed the bird from his mouth and looked it over. It was pretty much limp with a few small feathers sticking out in various places on it’s little body. I was pretty sure a wing was broken. It seemed comatose, and death was obviously certain. What to do…..my two wee children were looking at me expectantly, like I could fix all this. Huh.
Inspiration flashed, and I said “Let’s just take the bird out and put it on the haystack!” in my happy voice. “Then its friends will come and get it.” The kids looked at me dubiously, but after I secured Toby on a chain (he was none too happy with me) they trekked out with me to the shed, where I placed the surely soon-to-be dead bird on the second bale off the ground. The kids insisted on sitting there with it, so after a few token attempts to get them to come in the house I returned to my waiting glass of Pinot.
I forgot about the cats.
We have three barn/pet cats who are avid hunters. Three minutes later a hysterical Horsecrazy came running into the house. “MOM THE CATS ARE GOING TO GET THE BIRD!!!” We rushed outside to find Batman in a similar state of panic, jumping up and down in consternation as three hungry barn cats fished for the bird, who had managed to dive into a crack between the bales. I guess it wasn’t quite so dead as I thought it was.
Now, anyone who has known me for a long time knows I have a long history of animal rescue on my resume. There was the baby pheasant rescued from the swather that I drowned trying to make it drink milk from a plastic cup, and the entire litter of kittens that I accidentally baked to death by placing them on top of a heating pad in a little box when their mother was killed by a tractor. I said history. Not successful history. In my defense, there was no internet back then to look up proper procedures for animal saving. Nonetheless, nowadays I like to think of myself as reformed.
Horsecrazy Annabelle does know there is an internet. She knows that you can look up most things on it. And when we determined that bird wasn’t dead after pulling it out from behind the bales, she asked in her sweetest voice “Mom, could we maybe bring it in the house and look up on the computer what to do?” Ah, the wonders of technology. And a five year old. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
We brought the bird in and settled him for the night, taping the box shut and placing it in a warm place, exactly as suggested on the wild bird saving web page we found. I was sure he would be dead by morning.
Handsome Hubby let me know that he was a pigeon, not a dove. I hate pigeons. Flying Rats. Scourge of a Barn. Good only for training bird dogs. And target practice. Then Handsome Husband said the following words… “Annabelle, what do you think we should do with the bird?” I said he was Handsome, not smart.
Now we have a half dead pet pigeon living in a dog crate in the garage. His name is Perry. I’ll keep you posted on his recovery.