Monday, May 23, 2011


Every year we get a bird nest under the eaves in front of our garage. It’s a nice safe place, protected from the elements and high enough to keep the little birdies away from our dog and four cats.

This year, Lauren happened to go outside just as the baby birds were taking their first flight from the nest. All of them made it except for one. This little bird swooped down into the yard right in front of the dog. The dog stepped on the bird and broke it’s wing as Lauren sprang into action and saved the bird from more traumatic injury.

“Mom, it’s hurt.” Lauren looked at me with the clear blue innocent eyes of a ten year old who still believes Mom can fix anything.

“We’ll put it in the cat carrier in the garage and protect it until it’s wing heals,” I assured her, envisioning one of those warm family moments from TV where the kids nurse the baby bird back to health and marvel as it flies away in a few weeks.

Cue warm family music..... But wait a minute. We’re not a TV family.

I was still having warm, fuzzy bird healing thoughts so I named the creature George just as the boys came into the yard to see what all the ruckus was about.

“How do you know it’s a boy?” one of the kids asked.

“It’s not. If it were it would have a....” Drew commented.

“You’re an idiot,” Chris said. “Birds don’t have penises.”

“Okay, genius,” Drew said, “so tell me how they procreate.”

Both boys looked at me with expectant faces as if to say, Yeah, Mom. How are bird babies made? I realized my mom was right. No good deed goes unpunished.

I distracted them from the topic of bird sex by gently placing George in the cage and sending the kids off to dig for worms.

Cut the warm family music and cue the horror soundtrack. George lived for a day. Then he got kind of listless and stopped moving.

Lauren opened the cage door to check on him and accidentally left it open. Apparently we also accidentally let the cat in the garage. When we got up this morning, the cage was filled with feathers and the cat had a satisfied expression on its face. Poor George. He’d have been better off nesting at a TV family’s house.

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