Google+ peggy aplSEEDS: Speaking of Birds...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Speaking of Birds...

While I'm on the subject of birds, let me tell you about Squirt...


A few years ago, while on vacation, I was walking to the beach when I saw a baby bird on the footpath.  The poor bird was just sitting there and some ants were starting to surround him.  For a while, I thought he was dead but when I realized he was still alive, I looked around for a nest or a mommy bird.  There was none in sight.  What could I do?
 
I hurriedly rescued him from the ants and brought him back to the beach house, putting Tina, my environmentalist/ birdwatcher sister in charge of him (fortunately, she agreed to adopt him). 
 
Back home, Tina researched on the Internet and found out that taking care of a baby bird is no easy task.  She had to keep the baby bird warm all the time, specially at the start.  That meant she could hardly get any sleep at all (does that sound familiar, mommies?)  Everyday, Tina brought the baby bird to work with her (fortunately, my 3 sisters and I all work in the family business and she could do this).  We eventually named the baby bird, "Squirt"  because, well, he wasn't toilet trained and he squirted bird poop all over.  I took to wearing toilet paper "epaulettes" or wearing a shawl, or sometimes putting toilet paper on my head because Squirt liked to perch on my shoulder while I worked!


We taught him how to fly, first, just from one hand to another, then arm's length, then across our office room.  He started flying wherever he wanted, one desk to another...


 ...inspecting my designs (no, no!  don't squirt on that!)...


and feeling so comfortable with us.

(Edit: My sister Patsy told me a post about Squirt is not be complete without a video.  And although so unflattering for me, here is one where it seems he does not want me to talk on the phone...)



To be "friends" with a bird made me feel like St. Francis (known to be the patron saint of animals and the environment)!  What an amazing experience!


But as he grew, we knew that we would eventually have to let him go.  By the time we felt he was ready to be released into my mom's big garden, my mom was so attached to him, she didn't want to let him go (she was the baby bird sitter when Tina went out).  But of course, Tina told her that it was best for Squirt to be free.  We had to let him go.

The big day of Squirt's release came and we all gathered in my mom's house to say our goodbyes.  Then, we took Squirt out into the balcony, where he could fly off into the garden.  We sat in the balcony for some time, showing him the garden, but he just stayed with us, flying from one head to another.  

After waiting for some time, we decided to try again another day.  My mom was so happy and perhaps all of us were half hoping he wouldn't fly off.

The following day, with my mom and sisters in my mom's garden (unfortunately, I wasn't there), Squirt flew off and after a few minutes, returned to them and flew from one shoulder to another, from one head to another as if to say, "ok, I've checked out the garden and I'll be going soon, goodbye!"   They all went to sit in the balcony and after a few minutes, Squirt flew off.  It was a bittersweet moment and the end of the wonderful experience of having him with us.   

Sometimes, we have to say goodbye and it is hard, even if it is just a bird!  And sometimes the thought of having to say goodbye can keep us from doing something we want to do.  Recently, my sister Meldy started the process of becoming a foster parent, taking care of babies who are waiting to be adopted (You need to be accredited first).  We got to talking about how we had to say goodbye to Squirt and what will happen when we have to say goodbye to the babies she will be taking care of!   "Oh, we are going to cry, we will find it so hard to do", my sister Patsy worried.  It was funny because Meldy had not even started submitting the requirements for accreditation and we were already thinking about how hard it would be to say goodbye.

But then, life is full of goodbyes, little ones as well as big ones.  We say goodbye to youth, to friends and classmates, loved ones, familiar places, familiar ways of doing things.  We can't let our fear of saying goodbye keep us from loving or from doing what is right and good.  I have learned that the experience of loving is worth far more than the pain of saying goodbye.  

And back to birds, here is the ATC I was making in my previous post...


Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. 
Dr. Seuss


15 blog hugs:

Beedeebabee said...

Hi Peggy! What a beautiful, heartwarming post! I loved reading about your little Squirt. I found a sparrow a long time ago, but she was injured and blind in one eye, and we couldn't set her free. She lived with us for about 3 years until she passed away. Her name was Little Bird. I'll write about her one of these days! Your drawings are so beautiful...I love this! Happy Sunday!! xo Paulette ;)

Janet Ghio said...

What a great quote!! I loved your story about squirt!! What a good job you all did raising him--keeping a baby bird alive is hard to do. And I love your bird drawing.

Gale said...

Thank you for that beautiful story!

Lisa West said...

How precious, what a blessing for you all. Great quote, very happy to have found your blog, Lisa

AlliesAdornments said...

Thank you for sharing this touching & wonderful story that made me cry. I have a feeling that you would love the documentary "The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill" about a flock of birds in San Francisco.
My best to you, Allie

JoZart said...

That lovely story came to me minutes after saying my farewells to my friend who is returning to Australia and it really helped me. Thanks so much especially for the quote. Well done to Squirt!

Cindy Adkins said...

Oh my goodness, this is a wonderful story...so precious! It reminded me of St. Francis too. Thank you so much for coming to my blog, I Owe it All to Him.

Your art is really gorgeous...you are so talented and such a light shining bright!

This Friday-Sunday I am asking people to link up with their favorite Bible verse...If you would like to link up this beautiful bird story, I'd love to have you join us!

Hugs,
Cindy

Pretty Things said...

What an amazing story -- and you are a truly amazing person.

Beadwright said...

Ohhh this is the best post. I enjoyed your story so much and on so many levels. Thank you for sharing. You touched my heart.
Nicole/Beadwright

Alexandra said...

Like all good bird mommies do there comes a time when the job is done, and the babies are set free into the world. And what good bird mommies you were. I like that Dr. Seuss quote!

Renu (midnitecreations) said...

What a sweet and heartwarming story. Someday, maybe it'll make it's nest in your mother's garden! Your bird ATCs turned out so beautiful too.

nannykim said...

Beautiful story and you must be so glad to have the video to remember him !

Katie said...

What a wonderful story!

Sissy Dre said...

Hi Peggy ~ Love your bird experience ~ Thank You for sharing it with us ~ It was meant to be ~ The video was wonderful to watch, but I'm sure it was a challenge to carrie on a conversation while "Squirt" was trying to get the attention he was looking for ~ Very loving relationship to see animal and human with God's love sharing with us always ~ Knowing God and Making Him Know <3

Great-Granny Grandma said...

Beautiful post. Thanks for sharing. I always enjoy visiting your blog. You are so talented.

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