here, here, and here.
I think it all started about twenty years ago when I brought home my first pet cockatiel, Gracie. Gracie LOVED people, had so much spunk and curiosity, and taught me that birds most DEFINITELY possess distinct, hilarious personalities. We've owned a handful of birds since Gracie, all with varying quirky character traits. I've loved them all.
Caring for my avian pets has also opened my eyes to the amazing wild bird population just outside my back door. I can watch my feeder for hours, observing all the quirks and silliness of a male sparrow courting a female, or the downy-headed woodpecker who arrives each day, always landing on the same deck rail. He looks around, makes sure the coast is clear, then slowly, hopping, ascends the rail and digs into the hanging suet feeder. I just love it!
But it soon became clear that our little Robin mama was perhaps a bit young and inexperienced. Her nest wasn't very solidly built, and it eventually tipped forward, dropping and breaking one of the two eggs inside. She gave up on the other, and we didn't see her again. I was terribly disappointed.
But a few days later, she was gone from the nest. We'd see her in the small tree in the yard, LOOKING at it, but never ON it. I wanted to tell her, "I don't think you're doing it right!"
When a few more days went by with this same bizarre behavior, Alan removed the wreath and looked in the nest. Where there had once been three eggs, now only one remained. Something had gotten to them. Mommy was afraid, that's why she hadn't been back. She had pushed the last remaining egg deep down in the straw at the bottom of the nest, clearly hiding it from the predator that had taken the others. My heart ached for her. Still, she wouldn't leave her post in that tree, guarding her nest from afar.
We left for the weekend for Alan's family reunion. While there, I approached Alan's Uncle Paul, a farmer by trade, and a wealth of knowledge when discussing wildlife. I explained our "bird mama dilemma." Uncle Paul agreed that there must have been an attack of some kind and that the mama bird was probably traumatized. He said that there was nothing we could do, and suggested we clean the nest off our door when we got home, "before it starts to stink." I felt a little like crying.
An online search once again revealed that robins usually lay four eggs. That meant there was a possibility that two still lay beneath our little mama. Also, the site said, the mother sits on the eggs for ten to fourteen days before they hatch. HOW was I going to stand the wait?
It was a long two weeks, let me tell you. We suffered through an unseasonably cold snap where the nighttime temperatures bordered on freezing. Then the winds picked up with a fierce vengeance, rattling the windows and bending the large trees outside. I'd lay in bed and think about that tiny nest, praying everything inside it would survive.
Two weeks came and went, and there she sat, no change. By the end of the third week, I was beginning to think Alan may have been right. But why was that mama still sitting there?
I couldn't stop thinking about her. There she was, stubbornly perched on two perfect, beautiful blue eggs that were never going to hatch. So, so sad. As I watered my plants a few mornings ago, I looked up at her exhausted, worn-out face and gently said, "It's ok. You did your best. You can go." She blinked her eyes slowly at me and hunkered down.
I already knew I was going to write a post about her. I had actually composed several sentences in my head, sentences about knowing when to give up. I was going to write about how being stubborn and refusing to accept change can be a very tragic thing, indeed.
Then this afternoon, I arrived home to see THIS:
So my dear readers and fellow bloggers, thanks to this little six-ounce, orange and black soldier, my post today is not at all about giving up. It's about persistence. It's about following your instincts and doing what you know is right, even when everyone else tells you you're wrong. Or crazy.
Maybe there's some job you're trying to complete, some impossible task that everyone says is hopeless. Maybe nice, well-intentioned friends and family are urging you to just give up. Maybe they're right. But if you asked a very busy mama feeding her babies on my front door what to do, guess what SHE'D say?
Thanks for Reading!!
- Anything Fits A Naked Man
- Nashville, TN, United States
- Welcome to my blog! I'm Joan, a former actress attempting to reconnect with my first love of writing. Join me as I ponder my Irish dad, sweet grandma, GPS dependency, hatred of the Hallmark channel, and other insightful topics that make you go, "Hmmm..."
- ▼ May (7)