Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sunshine and Tweetie

It is a nice sunny morning here in the woods.  The sunbeams are coming through the openings in the thousands of branches outside like shards of glass, and they continue through my windows and across my carpet and up the walls.  LOVE IT!  I grew up in very sunny Arizona, and I love sunny days.  I used to play outside all day in my bare feet and run up and down the hot sidewalks and even hotter black streets.  I remember frying an egg on the sidewalk one time because I heard on the radio that it was hot enough outside to do that.  My youth was good in that way because I was not afraid of anything outside.  My fear was of what went on inside my house with very strict parents who ruled with an iron fist.  I felt as free as a bird once I got outside.

Speaking of birds.  Did I ever tell you about my bird, Tweetie?  I know lots of kids pick up wounded birds -- even Opie in The Andy Griffith show had 3 baby birds -- or maybe it was 4.  Remember their names?  Enie, Meenie, Minie and Moe, if I remember right.  But my bird story is different. 

We had a GIGANTIC tree in our front yard, and there were always lots of baby birds in it in the Spring.  There were also heavy rain storms in the Spring.  One Spring night when my parents were gone, there was a bad storm.  It must have been that night when I went out in the front yard to check the damage, and I found the tiny baby bird in the grass.  It had very few feathers and the bright yellow beak and that thin skin all over its tiny body.  I picked it up and brought it in the house, and for some reason, I put it in the dirty clothes hamper.  Actually, it was just a real big cardboard box with no top on it in a closet at the end of the hall.  I may have put it in a shoe box or something.  When my parents got home that night, I showed them the baby bird.  To my surprise, they said I could keep the baby bird!

I rolled up tiny bits of bread into little balls and put them in the birds throat with tweezers.  I dropped water into its mouth with a dropper.  I was a very serious, dedicated mother to this baby bird.  My parents got me a cage for Tweetie, and the cage was in my room.  When I was in the room, I would open the door of the cage, and Tweetie flew around all over the room.  There was a long valance board at the top of the window, and that was his perch.  There were little hills of hard white droplets all over it, but they were easy to clean up. 

One time, Tweetie flew out of the room.  I was totally panicked!  We all looked and looked to find the bird.  We all cracked up laughing when we found the little bird in the kitchen sink which was full of soapy water and dishes including a teapot.  Tweetie was floating in the top of the teapot with soap bubbles all over his head!  He was soaked, of course.  That was his first and only bath.

After Tweetie was fully grown, we decided we should let him go free.  I was probably tired of cleaning up after him so agreed that was a good idea.  So I lifted the full grown Sparrow out of his cage for the last time.  I walked out into the front yard where he first came from, and I swooshed him up into the air so he would fly into the tree.  Off he went, and I said Goodbye -- or so I thought!

I don't know if it was the next day or a few days, but I went outside to walk to school with my friends.  We were walking along with all of our school gear and talking as we always did, when all of a sudden Tweetie came out of nowhere and landed on my shoulder.  I couldn't believe it!  My friends, for sure, couldn't believe it!  Tweetie stayed on my shoulder for most of the way to school, and then I picked him up and swooshed him up into the air, and he flew away.  On the walk home from school, the same thing would happen.  Tweetie just appeared and landed on my shoulder.  This happened over and over and over.  Finally, I decided to bring Tweetie back in the house occasionally.  It was probably Winter, and I wanted him to be warm. 

I can't remember how long I had Tweetie.  Maybe a couple of years.  Then the saddest thing happened, and my heart was shattered for the first time in my life.  It was time to go to bed, and Tweetie had flown off somewhere, and I couldn't find him.  Sometimes, he would misbehave, and he wouldn't come to me when I wanted him to.  This was one of those times, and I wasn't in the mood for it.

After much following all over the house, he landed on top of what we called the "slant board".  It was a big board about 8' by 3' covered with batting and vinyl.  My Dad would put it up against the top of the bed and lay upside down on it so his feet were up and his head was down.  It was supposed to be good for something.  Anyway, it was up against the wall where he kept it when he wasn't using it, and Tweetie was at the top of it and would NOT come down.  I grabbed the board with one hand on each side of it and started shaking it so Tweetie would get off of it.  Tweetie fell behind it and was smashed by my shaking of the board.  He was dead, and I wished I was dead too.  It was horrible!  I was probably 12.

Time for breakfast.  Watch tomorrow for a new blouse. 

Hugs, Joy

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Hugs, Joy