Friday, 19 July 2013

Poor thing

One morning earlier this week, Brownie was standing alert and looking out quite inquisitively at something which held his interest. He continued to cock his head from side to side, while giving a small yelp every so often.

I couldn't quite figure out what was going on, until, I heard the "Cheep, Cheep, Cheep" of a small bird.
Looking out, I saw a tiny chick, covered in black fluff, which had somehow got away from its mother, under what circumstances I had no idea.

It was obviously lost, and kept on cheeping away quite noisily, while running all around the garden.
Had it survived falling out of its nest or had the mother abandoned the poor thing?
I tried  (unsuccessfully) for the most part of the morning to capture this little one, before it came to any harm, but every time I approached, it ran away at full speed.  How did its little legs move so fast?

I finally decided to put a small plate of cooked pasta and water in the garden for the baby chick to eat.  It just kept on running around cheeping away all day.

All the birds that came into the garden that day, it followed them around, but they all ran away from the chick like they were avoiding the plague.

Brownie of course was in high gear to get out into the back garden, but I kept the gate closed.
What next?
Dusk time came, and the chick was still running around cheeping.  It should have been tired by then.
Eventually the cheeping stopped, and I imagined it finally went to sleep for the night somewhere in the garden. The rain fell during the night, and I wondered about how he/she was doing.
The following day, early in the morning, the cheeping started all over again. At least it had made it through the night.
I then saw a blackbird in the tall palm tree seeking grubs from between the spent fronds. Oh great, I thought, the mother is going to feed the poor thing.
Little did I know......

To my horror, the blackbird gobbled up the grub, and continued to search for more, eating every single grub that it found.

I took some more cooked pasta out for the chick but it ran away from me again. 
 The old pasta was still there. It had to be hungry and probably quite tired and weak from running around an entire day.
It ran very fast to get away from me, and to hide under the shrubbery along the back wall.

Sometimes, it is not right to interfere with the course of nature, but it was too much for me to bear. 
Checking with a (vet) friend of mine later in the day, I was told that the poor thing was probably sick and that's why the mother had abandoned it.   So sad.
Before I closed up for the evening, I checked on its whereabouts in the garden.  It was all snuggled up under a palm tree, looking quite weary.

This morning, in the early dawn, I walked the garden, and found its little body no longer breathing.
Brownie helping me to look.
Every animal that passes away in my garden gets a proper burial.
I prepared a box for the body, lined it with fresh newspaper, and gingerly placed the little body inside.

Dug a hole in the earth and gave the poor thing a decent burial with a prayer, and then placed some heliconia flowers on the grave.

Brownie saying goodbye
Rest in Peace little birdie.


  1. Sometimes Nature seems plain cruel, doesn't it! Your story reminds me of couple of years ago when a butterfly sought its final rest on my balcony... I spoonfed it with sugarwater and when it died I actually took it out and buried it under a tree. Sometimes there's not much logic to one's actions - had it been a wasp I'd have killed it even if it was healthy...!

    1. Monica my dear, the picture you have painted of spoonfeeding a dying butterfly is so tender and brought a small tear to my eye.
      Then on the other hand, I'm like you, I'd kill a fly or wasp quite easily. I have always wondered what real purpose mice and flies serve in this world.

  2. It's a very difficult one isn't it Virginia? The golden rule is not to interfere but that's so hard in circumstances like that. The reality of nature is, however, that even if you had managed to catch it and feed it the grubs it probably needed the chances are you would only prolong its life for a relatively short time. RIP.

    1. You're right GB, and I know I shouldn't be upset, but the animal world can be quite cruel. Imagine if we treated each other like that, but then again, some folks are quite callous towards others, even their offspring.

  3. So sad. Knowing Jo I expect the little bird would have got the same burial treatment in our garden.

  4. I try to appear tough, but I'm a softie at heart.
    Perhaps Jo and I are kindred spirits, not only in the animal welfare department but in other areas as well. I don't drink as much tea as she does though!!!

  5. You are such a kind soul. The world needs more people like you. :o)

    1. I'm sure you would have done the same thing Tammy, but probably not with the bunnies in your garden though!


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