A Little Bird Came to Dinner Last Night

Lyndsey brought her bird Gus for dinner last night. He's a wild bird, and none of us could say for sure what kind, even with the Sibley's bird book, because he ( I suspect she, actually, because of the not very bright coloring) is still so young. Friends found the hairless baby bird two months ago and brought it to Lyndsey who fed it with a Q-tip. Now, Gus flits from head to shoulder all day. He goes inside and outside, always coming back to Lyndsey or her boyfriend's head (or in last night's case, any head or shoulder he could find.) Earlier in the day I had introduced the neighbor's grandson to the chicks in my coop. We grandmothers and the little boy had all crouched down on the straw. I brought leftover oatmeal so the chicks ran right to me, and the boy watched, riveted, as they pecked and peeped and hopped. We held them gently and patted their tiny feather heads, and looked very closely at their skinny pink feet. There is something so amazing about little birds. They can fly, for starters, and both Gus and the chicks have bright black eyes that look at you with a curiosity and an intelligence that comes from a place very different than ours does. I can't explain it very well, without more thought, or perhaps composing a poem, but that little bird last night, so fragile and bold, so entertaining and vulnerable, so happy and thoughtful, made me think they have it wrong about angels. They aren't big bright things with trumpeting voices and huge white wings. They also may not be as rare as we think. There may even be one at your bird feeder, or in the rose bushes, right now. 

(In other news: this is the biggest weekend of the year in Haines, thanks to the Kluane to Chilkat International Bike Relay. 0ver 1100 cyclists and their families, friends and support crews will be in town today, tomorrow and Sunday. I'll be riding  forty miles from the Canada border to town on a family team with my husband, daughter Eliza, and her boyfriend. Wish us luck. Saturday night is the big fishermen's barbecue at the Fairgrounds, and Sunday morning the People for Peace Pancake Feed. Sunday is also Father's Day, and my youngest daughter tells me the biggest day of the year for Mountain Market where she'll be working. It is also the first salmon gillnet opening of the season. Last night, while Gus was checking out the binoculars, we saw an eagle catch a sockeye right in front of the house. I hope that's a good sign. )




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