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Some Kids I Have Known
Starling Out of Its Nest


No matter how busy this world can become a tiny incident can stop us in our tracks until we must reflect on things from a different realm, one of greater understanding. This happened to me in the last few days.

I was reaching down to turn the hose off when a movement on the ground caught my eye. A dark gray, almost black bit of fluff was hopping on the ground.

“Oh blast! The wind has blown you out of the nest. Well, you won’t last out here. One bite and Pinto will devour you quicker than I can think about it.”

The little Starling was hopping as far away from me as possible and was wedged right up against Rhonda’s spa. The mama bird was zooming around over us making those raucous sounds they make. My mind is weighing all of what would have to go into my reaching down to pick the little mite infested thing up and I turned away to walk back into the house.

“With all I have on my plate I don’t think I need to take on a bird of somewhat unsavory reputation.” I’m thinking. Just last week I was complaining about them chasing the song birds away from the water fountain. When they decided to come into the cedar trees there could be a nuisance noise no one liked. But, there was no ignoring the bird on the ground it was immediately within sight and I could see it through the window where the washer was.

“I can’t even put a load of clothes in without looking at you. Oh well! Some people just can’t leave sleeping dogs lie, or leave birds on the ground alone.”

A cardboard box, newspapers in the bottom and a quick, easy catch put that loud mouthed baby on top of the air-conditioner out of Pinto’s reach who was a mutt of questionable background that gave him genes from somewhere to make him a varmint dog and he was good at it. Even frogs were not safe from his grasp albeit more of a worrying of them and for playtime as they again and again tried to hop away.

“Oh Gramma! A baby bird!” No sooner was the box up until my granddaughter walked in the back door.

“What are you going to feed it?” She was immediately interested.“I don’t know. Once I fed one wheat germ but I don’t have any and I’m not driving to town for just one thing.” I all but growled.

She was quiet and walked up to my computer. I wanted to call to her not to get into some game because I was working on something but said nothing for some reason. In a little while she came back into the kitchen where I was with a sheet of paper.

“Look Gramma! Here is a recipe for feeding baby birds. It is dog food, grapes, and a boiled egg. You soak the dog food and then put it in the blender with grapes and the boiled eggs. I’ll go get some dog food.”

“I thought we were trying to get rid of those things!” Rodney was not happy over my feeding a Starling.

“That bird won’t live!” My seven year old grandson informed me, no doubt made wise by his parents comments.

The granddaughter who was so interested the day before on the ways and survival of birds she had gleaned from the computer, the next day, wouldn’t even look in the direction of the little thing. Evidently, she had been informed, as well, about the possibility of its demise and maybe even about mites and such.

Nevertheless, I gleaned mulberries from the front tree, mixed dog food and a boiled egg again when the first batch was gone. It was now on the fourth day of this almost hourly feeding for the gaping little mouth that seemed to automatically fly open as I approached it. I had been taking the box outside where the mother clicked her conversation to it.

“Gramma! Gramma! Your bird flew away.” My little grandson’s eyes were as round as saucers as he came running into the kitchen. I have no idea what his thoughts were and I plan not to ask.

“Wonderful!” My answer to him was in a word, and I meant it.

“So what is this great understanding I have gleaned?” You might ask.

I’ve learned again, that all the Bible study in the world will not replace one set of circumstances all tied up in creation’s tiniest of creatures. The fragile ways of life and living children learn when given an opportunity. This never ceases to amaze and delight because they have not yet reached a place of complacency in regard to being able to observe and solve problems with adult-like acumen. What a small amount of effort was involved to have enjoyed all the situations around nothing more than a tiny bird.

Not to leave out, later in the morning, the mother Starling came to the door where I was working on the computer. She walked back and forth directly in front of the open door a number of times as she cocked her head at me. Was this a thank you from something that is supposed to have very little ability to even understand? I suppose this will never be known.


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