Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sometimes nature really sucks

I found an injured bird on my walk with Snoopy this morning. Well, it was Snoopy that found it. I didn't notice it at first. Snoopy of course was sniffing around and I saw him pawing at something in the grass. Then I saw something move and I pulled Snoop away and saw it was a little sparrow. It was obviously hurt, lying on it's back and not able to get up. It had an odd red tinge to it's feather, blood maybe, I never did figure that part out.

A passerby held on to Snoopy while I picked up the bird. I haven't had much experience with birds. My parents-in-law have a cockatiel, and most of my interactions with it have consisted of it trying to eat my gold chain or earring. I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I didn't expect it to be so light. It was so small and delicate, and it barely weighed anything. I could hardly tell I had anything in my hand.

It seemed incomprehensible that this was a living thing. And yet I could clearly feel it's heart beating against my hand. It still felt strong, and yet the poor thing could not move, and was breathing rather raggedly. Every now and then it would open it's eyes and look up at me.

It was a beautiful morning, the perfect fall day. The sun was out, the air was cool, and the light was just amazing. I sat down on the front stoop of a building, bird in one hand and Snoopy's leash in the other. I didn't quite know what to do.

I didn't think there was much that could be done for the bird. Part of me just wanted to put it out of it's misery, but I wasn't sure if I had it in me to do it. I thought of letting Snoopy have it. He'd been sitting very calmly next to me the whole time, he was obviously interested in it, but he was listening to me and being very well behaved. I wasn't sure if I wanted to see Snoopy kill a helpless little bird, and what if he didn't finish the job?

A small part of me just thought I was making a big deal out of nothing. After all it was just a little sparrow. It wasn't really anything special right? But I had picked it up, and I had it cradled in my hand, and I could feel it's heart beating. It was a living thing, it was hurt and I couldn't just leave it to die by itself right?

So there I sat in the sunshine, holding this poor bird, talking to it and stroking it. I don't know how long I sat there, but it seemed like a long time. Finally, someone walking by stopped and said as much as he hated it, he thought I would have to let nature takes it's course. I didn't want to just abandon it, but I knew I couldn't just sit there forever holding it either. So I placed it under some bushes, and walked home with Snoopy.

I can't tell you how many times I've had to stop myself from running over there to see if it's still there.

Let nature take it's course. It got me thinking about myself. If nature took it's course and no one intervened, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have made it much past 5. For one thing I was half blind as a kid. I kept falling down the stairs at home and it wasn't until I was 5 that they figured out I needed glasses! If we let nature take it's course I'm pretty sure half of us wouldn't be alive today. How come we hardly ever let nature take it's course when it comes to us?

I am not proud of what I did today, but I'm not sure if there was anything more I could have done. Then again, if I was lying hopelessly broken under a tree, I suppose I would want whoever found me to put me out of my misery. Given the way people are in those situations though, I suppose I would have better luck if a bear found me instead.

Fracking nature.


Tirade said...

I love you.

lori said...

it makes me happy that there are people like you in the world justin.

Justin said...

Thank Pat, and thanks Lori! It means so much coming from you two.