Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rescue Me . . . Part I

House Sparrow, somewhere in Portland

One summer, my two cats and their friends, the neighborhood felines, decided to harass a family of robins who had taken residence high up in one of my persimmon trees.  My large orange tabby, Bear, the main instigator and leader of the gang of cats, was a birder . . . and his main commission in life was to catch and destroy birds. He had no idea of what to do with a mouse. I saw him with mice several times .. .  he would lick them fondly until they were nice and tidy and he would pat them gently with his paws and then let them go.

This particular hot and dry summer, Bear closely watched the comings and goings of the parent robins as they flew back and forth with groceries and other necessities for their growing family. These parent robins were well aware of the activities of the cats and they kept a sharp eye on those ruffians; and often would shriek and scold as robins do in vain hope of discouraging any intrusions. These poor birds were so stressed with the five or six cats milling around at the foot of the tree. But the trees were very tall and dark with foliage and seemed safe for the most part.

At the peak of this adventure, I was baking cookies and keeping an eye on the cats. There was quite a ruckus going on and I would run out from the kitchen and yell at the cats and chase them off. The robins were often on the wires near the tree shrieking in high pitched voices. Something was going on and my assumption is that the cats had narrowed in on where the nest was hidden in the tree and the birds knew it. . . 

At one point I raced outside to see one of the birds flapping its wings against the ground and suddenly the cats pounced and commenced tearing at the unfortunate creature. I turned the hose on the furry murderers and yelled at them but the damage was done. The mother had sacrificed herself to appease the army of cats. My cookies were burning so I ran back inside and forgot about the incident . . . life goes on.

Later that evening I walked outside and found the shreds of the mother robin. I took her remains for disposal and watched the father taking care of his babies on his own. . . I decided to look for the rest of the mother in the bushes at the foot of the tree and there I found a dead looking chick. When I picked him up though, he came to life and began to shriek . . . his body was ice cold and his pin feathers were shivering and rattling . . . and all his little vermin ran off onto my hands .. . 

of course I had to rescue him . . . and thus I became a mother robin . . . 

Part II to be continued . . . .

A Forest Lane
Music by Nelson Jenstad

a peaceful walk
on a forest lane . ..
the dusty city left behind . . for a moment ...
the chatter of worries and sorrows
drop away like tattered and worn
garments that no longer are needed . .
and though we are naked and vulnerable
against the wiles of the world
we find a retreat in the trees .. .
we breath the freshened air . .. cool and moist
and feel the shadows of the trees
cover us like insulation against the storms
we must face . . . for a moment's  reprieve . .
this sheltered sanctuary is our strength
and our calm . . . and our grace for the future . . .

The beautiful piano and instrumental music of this album is as fulfilling as the true
nature of a wooded walk . . . 


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