Monday, June 03, 2013

Miracle in May

Anna Rose and I had gone out for a little Daddy Daughter date. It was after her bedtime when we returned; David was already asleep, so we snuck into the house via the back porch. We were climbing the stairs when something caught our eye. It was a bird. A small house finch trapped between the stairs and the wall.

Anna Rose asked me to rescue it, which I not-so gracefully did. Except for a chicken, I hadn't held a bird in my life. Holding this one, I saw right away what had happened. She had flown into the window and had broken or dislocated her wing. It was crooked. The poor thing couldn't even walk.

The question was: what to do? Or the question I was thinking which was: how do I put this poor bird out of its misery without my daughter crying? Anna Rose and I went inside. Told Lia the situation. She told me to get a cardboard box.

I did. Anna Rose filled up a dish of water. Gave the bird a handful of birdseed.

To my surprise, the bird was alive the next morning. Anna Rose and I dug up some worms. The bird lived through the day. She started hopping around the next.

Day 7, she tried her wing out. She could lift off the ground about two inches before falling. Anna Rose thought she'd give her a chance outside. She hopped to a holly bush and climbed to the top and hid awhile. Then tried to fly but fell in our neighbors backyard.

This brought tears. Our neighbor has a dog. I was pretty sure the bird, Anna Rose had named her Sala at this point, was a goner. We went over and fortunately Joey had not found her yet. Somehow we did. She was hiding in some pachysandra.

Sala went back in the box. I ran into our vet at church the next day. I told him about the bird. He was astonished that Anna Rose had been able to keep a wild bird alive that long, especially an injured one. He told us to bring her to his office for x-rays. We did the next day.

Sala's wing had no signs it had been broken. It was still crooked but the joint had slipped back in place. There was a chance Sala was going to make it! The fact she was alive at all was miraculous enough to give us hope.

Sala continued to improve. Two days later, Anna Rose asked if she could bring Sala to visit her friends at school. I told her to pray about it. She said, "I asked God twenty-two times and he said 'Yes' each time." So I came home from work a little early to get the bird.

Sala was gone! She had flown out of her cardboard box. Ten minutes of searching followed. Finally, I found her underneath a wicker chair. I collected her, brought her to school, and told Anna Rose and her friends about Sala's dramatic escape.

I told Anna Rose in the car that Sala was ready to go free. I asked Anna Rose if she was ready. She said, "Yes." So we did.

I don't know if I have ever been so proud of Anna Rose. I don't think she has any idea how amazing it is to nurse a wild animal back to health.

Almost every day, Sala visits our bird feeder. Because of her crooked wing it's easy to pick her out...I still find it hard to believe she can fly.

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