Last night, after a “particularly grueling day at the office” (read: being unable to determine a) the source of that smell and 2) why I felt like crying – I’d suppose the two were related), The Guy on my Couch and I took the kids out to the backyard, where they immediately began squalling about who got to swing on the swing. Apparently I need an additional swing since *all* of them are now able to swing by themselves; well, that or a kid-sized muzzle – I can’t be sure.
I sat down on my lawn chair after carefully inspecting it for earwigs (it’s Earwig Time in Chicago. I’d say we should throw a block party or at least dance to some funky fresh beats, but I have a phobia of earwigs, so I’d probably be hiding somewhere earwig-proofed), and prepared myself for some Tiny Motherfucking Tower.
Some time between “Mom, why can’t we fill up the pooooooool?” and “Mooooom, can we make cuppity-cakes so I can eat them?” the kids stopped, looked around, and began to shout, “MOM, MOM, MOM” as they piled off the swing set toward what appeared to be a moving bundle of feathers.
Hop, hop, hop, went The Baby Birdie. He hopped is ass right on over to me, and I felt my heart sink. Shit. A baby bird. I’m gonna have to call a wildlife rescue and shit, none of them are open.
I popped inside as The Guy on the Couch and the kids guarded the baby birdie (who I’d named Wilber) to call around to see what kinds of wildlife rehab facilities were around and/or open. Yes, apparently wildlife get addicted to drugs and have to go to rehab, too. Who the fuck knew?
Anyway, 5:30 in Chicago means “fuck off I’m outta here so I can sit in gridlock traffic,” so everywhere I called was not open, their numbers out of service, or, in the case of one particularly memorable instance, answered by a very angry Hispanic woman, who yelled at me in Spanish – the only words I understood were “puta” and “malo.”
I locked my cats, who were intently circling the back door, more awake and alert than I’d ever seen those fat bastards, in the bathroom and grabbed the nearest shoebox. Back to the yard I went, ready to rehab the FUCK outta that birdie. We put him in a box and took the box into the locked upstairs bathroom, waiting for the wildlife rehab to open. I knew I couldn’t live with myself if Wilbur was reduced to a carcass the next morning by the family of raccoons that live somewhere in the area, all of whom I’ve named “Walter.”
Kinda like George Foreman, but Walter.
Of course, having an unfamiliar delicious scent in the house, my cats were all, “where the fuck is that bird?” and “I smell bird, you malo puta.” In this way, I learned that Chloe, my brain-damaged cat (who you may recall from my tips for photoblogging post) is actually the smartest of them all. Goes to show you never can tell.
I happened to walk past the backyard patio on my way to watch some Numb3rs where I noted the two doves that live in my tilted pine tree, hovering above the patio area, clearly looking for something.
Their baby. The Mom and Dad were looking for their Wilbur.
My heart grew about 10,384 sizes.
I decided we’d take our chances and let Wilbur out to his family. I didn’t particularly relish being the home wrecker to a nest of birds who have the capacity to poo on my head every time I walk outside, and I knew if I went to a wildlife rehab, I’d walk out with three dogs and an abandoned grey parrot because that’s the way I roll*.
It took a couple of minutes of Wilbur sitting underneath my deck table before he realized that the shoe box was, in fact, gone, and that he was now, in fact, back outside. Mommy and Daddy bird sat on the fence nearby watching, as Wilbur made his way back to the tree; his tree, waddling and doing this weird thing with his neck that’s probably the sign of bird flu or something else sinister-sounding.
The last I saw him, he was sitting on the low branches of the pine tree, his mother about 2 feet above him, as she watched Wilbur climb back up toward home.
It took him some time, and a couple of falls back to the ground, but he made it home.
And as for me, I’m just glad I didn’t have to perform An Intervention with Wilbur – falling out of the tree was a wake-up call for him.
(I can’t wait to watch him grow)
(and if I go out back and he’s dead, I’ll never forgive myself)