Chickens in the Basement

I love to write and I love to laugh. When I write, I get to the point quick. My stories would fit on the back of a postcard. They usually make me chuckle. And you know what they say, "It's all about me!"

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust

When I went to bed last night, Baby Groucho was sitting on his towel with his head tucked under his wing sleeping peacefully. Yes, he was breathing. I checked! This morning, he was on his back with his feet in the air...nothing peaceful about it!

My track record on wild birds is not good. An injured bird I found this Spring died while I ran to Wally World to get him a cage (the same cage Baby Groucho kicked the bucket in last night). I don't know why I can't just leave them outside when I find them and let nature take its course, but I know that is a definite death sentence for a small or injured animal.

When my favorite rooster, Fred, was drug into the woods by a fox (we think), we found him still alive but badly injured. I brought him home in a box and let him sleep in the bathtub for the night. I hoped he would be upright and happy the next morning. This did not happen. I had called Susie, my business partner at the time, to tell her about the tragedy. I was upset and she was very sweet. The next day, she confessed that she was telling her daughter Jenny about the drama and got the silly giggles over should she ask tomorrow if Fred's dead? Yep, him, too!

Of course, you know about Skippy. I rescued him from the hen house and he's a perverted, psychotic rooster.

The biggest bird-find we ever had was when a cockatiel flew up in the yard during a walk in the woods with friends. The poor fellow had damage to one eye and a toe that didn't look quite right. He must have been starving to fly up amidst all of this chaos, but he did. Neighbors Terri and Dave nursed him back to health then gave him to us because they have a maccaw and a cockatoo, neither of whom would be too friendly to a smaller, less aggressive, bite-sized bird.

Since he had a doingy feather on top of his head, he was named Alfie (short for Alfalfa from Little Rascals). This bird had mental health issues, too. It tried to peck his own head off. The only way we could stop him from doing this was to attach one of those collars like a dog wears to keep it from licking injuries. The avian doctor cut this out of x-ray film and fastened it around Alfie's neck. He wore it until his wounds healed. You know how stupid these things look on a dog? On a bird, it looks like Chinese torture...but really funny. Shortly after the collar came off, Alfie was perching on my sweatered shoulder. He flew off, but forgot to let go with one of his toes. It got caught in the weave of my sweater and yanked his leg out of the socket. For the rest of his life, he stood on his perch in a half plie position...left foot forward, right foot turned to the side. He was around for about 3 years. Sad to say, but I was a little relieved when he went to bird heaven!

So, if I am in charge of raising birds, they die. Or they live a life of psychosis, then they die. Skippy, watch your back!


Jenny S said...

Anna, just remember, you saved the little makes up for you being a mass bird murderer!! hehehe!!

Em said...

We also had a little wild bird die here yesterday - I was trying to be 'good' and do what I have been told 'a hundred times' to do... we found a little baby on the ground in our back yard, just peeping away for us to feed it - and I just put it closer to where the nest was, then left it alone. The parents went and checked on it, and seemed to be ok with it being there, but then our cat found it - and with my daughter screaming at him, he picked up the baby bird in his mouth. As I grabbed him, he immediately dropped the baby bird,who seemed fine, and I took the cat inside - only to come back to find the baby bird laying dead with his legs up. My daughter was devastated - and she cried for a long time... we had a little burial for the baby bird, and she is still mad at the cat.

Kate Spike and Her KatS said...

Guess what? Grown-ups get the silly giggles, too--your post made me laugh out loud (with apologies to the departed).