I know, it’s cheesy, but consider Sunday’s posts a counterpoint to my usual snarkiness: today, I’m posting three things I am thankful for this week. No snark, no sarcasm and no curs–well, let’s not go TOO crazy…
1. Only one thing this time, because it is a doozy: I am immensely grateful that Remy didn’t kill the baby bird he found in our yard.
Yesterday afternoon, I was upstairs when I heard the boyfriend yelling for me, sounding more panicked than usual. I met him on the stairs and he told me that he’d caught Remy “mullering” a bird outside. (Northern slang, how you continually astound me with your total separation from the rest of the English language.) Remy has definitely looked interested in birds before—in fact, just that morning I’d been laughing watching him creeepy-creep through the lawn staring up at a bird singing on our fence—but given that birds are quick creatures that can fly and Remy is a short fat dog, I’d never been too worried that he’d actually, y’know, catch one.
So my entire walk downstairs and into the back garden, I was thinking I was going to be confronted with a mortally-wounded bird. Objectively, I was thinking the kindest thing in that situation would be to kill it—even if it feels awful, to let a bird die slowly and painfully is crueller than quickly killing it yourself. But that said…I am a vegetarian. I went vegetarian because I couldn’t handle the idea that I was directly responsible for causing animals’ deaths. So as I was walking down the garden, I was just thinking over and over again, “I don’t know if I can do this.”
I cannot say how relieved I was to discover that the bird was a bit spitty, and definitely not real happy with how his day had gone, but otherwise unharmed. It was an adolescent starling; starlings used to roost in the eaves of my parents’ house in Fresno, and then the babies would fall out once they started to try to fly, so I am very familiar with what they look like, and this one was neeearly full-grown. We put him in a shoebox and tried feeding him (dog food soaked to mush, as per the internet), but he was having none of it. He did, however, start chirping up a storm, so we were fairly confident he was totally fine.
So then the question became what to do with him. We guessed he’d fallen out of a nest in the neighbours’ yard, and there was no hope of putting him back in—plus, even if we’d somehow managed, he would have jumped right back out again. We could put him behind our yard in the grasses there, but that would have essentially just been packing a cat lunchbox, because I see them out there all the time. So we finally decided to put the shoebox out on our metal table in the garden, and watch to see if any of the starlings who kept landing in our yard were his parents. So we did, and then we sat down to wait…and about sixty seconds later, I see this stupid teenage starling going *whup! whup!* leaping up on the edge of the shoebox, and then promptly launching himself down into the long grasses where Remy found him the first time. Bastard.
He clearly wanted to make a go of it, plus he’s just at the age where starlings leave the nest, so we left him to fend for himself. I am hoping he will get out of our yard, but in the meantime we’re either watching the Remster closely, or actually taking him out into his own yard on a leash. He is not very happy about this. We also need to mow the lawn this weekend, which is now going to mean carefully scouting through all the shrubberies to make sure we don’t accidentally kill this bird we spent an afternoon rescuing, because I am insane.
Anyway, long story short: I am grateful Remy is not Mother Nature’s Portly Killing Machine, and instead is just a confused dog who saw something moving, instinctively went CAN I EAT IT?!?!!, but only gently mouthed the bird and didn’t actually do any harm. I am grateful I didn’t have to murder a baby bird, even if it would have been the merciful thing to do. I am not so grateful there may or may not be a starling emo-ing it up in my back garden, but he’s probably grateful as hell that we haven’t mowed our lawn for a solid two months or so, so I think overall we’re even stevens.