May 13, 2012

Up to me

Filed under: About The Animals — Ann @ 4:33 pm


I was taking my walk this afternoon, enjoying the movement and freedom after a morning spent studying. As I was crossing Austin Street something caught my eye: a little brown bird — perhaps a baby — was huddled down almost in the middle of the street, wings splayed, looking frightened, definitely wounded. I looked around as if expecting…what? His mother to show up and take him home? Someone to drive by and help me?

A man on a bicycle wobbled by with two young kids not far behind. Aha – help! “Do you live on this street?” I asked hopefully. Plan #1 was to at least get the bird out of the street, because any car moving from south to north was going to squish it. He shook his head regretfully and moved on. I continued to stand guard over my charge, kneeling frequently to check on him. I thought I saw a little blood in his beak. Every now and then he closed his eyes as if against the onslaught of such unthinkable vulnerability.

I knew he needed help quickly. I saw a well-dressed woman carrying flowers across the street, apparently to her neighbor. “Excuse me!” I yelled. “Do you have a shoebox?” She didn’t, but after some explanation she agreed to get me a bag, so there I was in the middle of a busy street, a giant Whole Foods bag in hand, gently scooping a tiny shivering life form. I practically ran home. And, I confess that some of my thoughts along the way were along the lines of “Why me?” In the universe next door, I hadn’t noticed the bird and was continuing my walk. In this universe, however, I had a task.

Several months ago Neal and I rescued a bird which had flown into our front window, so I knew exactly what to do with a hurt bird: place it in a shoebox lined with a soft cloth, poke holes in the lid, then keep it in a warm, quiet cat-free place until you can get it to a rescue center. I checked the Sonoma County Bird Rescue Center website and to my amazement they are open 7 days a week. The thing is, I hate driving. I hate driving with a passion and I especially hate driving the almost-one-hour trip to Santa Rosa, which I do too many times a week. Nevertheless, I knew I was going. Neal said he’d go with me; I drove. Every now and again I asked Neal to peek under the lid to see how Sami was doing — yes, I had named him — and Neal would give me reports like, “He’s just looking around,” and my heart would melt to think of it. As I drove, I marveled at my good fortune living in a place where an injured animal could get medical help — likely provided by tender-hearted volunteers — seven days a week. “God bless America,” I said out loud to no one.

Three very nice staff members were waiting. The gave Sami a number (0567 — an awfully big number for such a tiny bird) and told us we could call back in a few days to see how he’s doing. They asked where we found him because they try to return healed animals to their own territory.

I know this has likely happened to many of you reading this: you’re driving to work and see a stray dog trying to cross a crowded highway. Or you find a feral kitten. Or, like me, you find an injured or dazed bird. Animals that need our help. And you know that no one would know or think anything of it if you kept going. But you don’t. You find the rope to use as a leash or the shoebox or the blanket in your backseat and do whatever you can to get the little life to safety. I think there’s a verse in the Bible about God personally rescuing every fallen sparrow. But to my mind, if there is a God, it would be that voice whispering when you least expect it, “It’s up to you.”

Because sometimes, convenient or not, it just is.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress Hosted by