Today while Ralph and I were making up labels on a little home-brewed project of mine (see below) I spied our kitty Harris outside with a bird in his mouth. This is the second one in three days. The bird from Friday was quite dead, and perhaps not even by his hand (or paw, such as it is). This one was still alive. Ralph ran outside and retrieved the cat and went inside the house to look for the phone number of a rehabilitation group. I picked up the bird. The children ran outside and crowded around me. Our neighbor’s daughter called over the fence, asking for updates which my kids gave. I couldn’t hear them because I was rather distressed.
The bird went through agonies in my hand, arching back it’s head and opening it’s beak as if gasping. It’s gasps began to have sound. Then it died in my palm. I laid it down and it changed very profoundly from something fighting to live into something dead. Something left it’s body so obviously as if it was an entirely different thing altogether. I cried. I don’t care if you think that’s silly. You weren’t there.
Sophie cried a little out of shock and then went inside to tell Ralph. She came back outside and the children took turns holding the bird and talking about what happened. They weren’t upset. Ralph dug a hole in the yard and we placed the bird, a few worms, and a flower inside the hole.
Life went on. For us.