I had no choice. They had to cut down a coconut tree that had been showering its bountiful blessings on the roof of a long suffering neighbor. I was in my work station fabricating more lies for the online community in behalf of a client when my toddler showed up by my window all sweaty and dirty holding up what appeared to be a bird’s nest from the tree. I knew at that point that I had a responsibility to refrain from spitting unholy words at the sight of the little creature I had to clean up and to save the other little creature that had just been abandoned by its mother in the house of twigs (Excuse me for using "IT." I have no idea if the bird is male or female).
It is true that birds and animals don’t think or feel in the same elevated levels as humans do but I don’t think that justifies leaving the baby bird at the mercy of a toddler who hasn’t yet mastered the finer points of motor control. It occurred to me that if I were the one lost and afraid and a baby alien with superior intellect came by and found me, I wouldn’t appreciate it if he squished the life out of me simply because I hadn’t mastered calculus or grasped the meaning of life.
In short, I have adopted the bird until it can fly off on its own. My husband says this bird belongs to a species that is capable of committing suicide in moments of distress. The fact that it hasn’t stuck its legs up yet is an indication that it must be happy and healthy.
My problem is that it has grown too happy. It is not kept in a cage and pecks and poops where it will. It has no desire to live outside in the little makeshift condo we made for it and it has no skill whatsoever when it comes to scavenging. It flies towards people, toddlers, cats and chickens rather than away from them and I swear, if it had a longer tongue, it would stick it out and lick my face. I want the bird to fly away because it is supposed to and because I do not like the idea of collecting generous amounts of poop and mediating between the bird and a kid with a firm grip.
If you have suggestions on how to teach the bird that I am not its mother, that cats are not its friends and that it should live in a tree, please feel free to help me out.