The One-Legged Bird

Here's the thing, my mother never turned away a stray animal. I could bring anything home and keep it. Among my many pets there were, dogs, cats, birds, snakes, miscellaneous hamsters, guniea pigs, fish, frogs, turtles, gerbils, mice and even a flying squirrel we named Rocket J. And as many of you know, Flossie was the orginal pet whisperer. I swear the woman could communicate with animals. It was eerie. One day I found a baby bird and brought him home. "His leg is broken," Mom said. Then she placed him in a shoe box and fed him a thick slurry of milk and bread through an eye dropper. Baby, as she called him, grew but his leg just seemed to drag behind him. So Flossie took him to see the vet, Doc Evans and made him amputate the leg. That's right. Flossie arrived home with Baby sporting a fashionable new stump wrapped in white tape. Yep, we had a one-legged robin who liked to ride around the house on the dog's back. Somehow it became my responsibility to dig worms for him. Every morning my mother would wake me and I went out on the daily worm hunt. Until one day I said, "no." It was summer vacation and I did not want to dig worms for the stupid bird anymore. So Flossie decided it was perhaps time to let the bird go. Now we all knew Baby couldn't fly. Birds need two legs to fly. But, undaunted, Flossie took the bird and me outside and instructed me to place him as high as I could on the pine tree. Now I saw the curious cat that waited just a few yards away but still I set Baby on the tree. "All we can do is hope he'll fly," Flossie said. "But whatever happens, it's for the best." I couldn't watch so I went inside and to this day I believe that Baby, the one-legged Robin flew away and lived happily ever after in Birdland. Right.
Guilt--another in a long list of reasons why impressionable girls grow up to be writers.


Bonnie Calhoun said...


christa said...

Writers usually want different endings. It was the one way I culd give all the "A" list girls pimples on prom night.