Saturday, August 15, 2009

Little One

1½ days after our baby wrens had gone, my son ran in exclaiming that one had been injured by a feral cat. "Little One" was fine but she is the runt...the one in the back who didn’t get her full share of nourishment in the nest. Next to the thumb of an 8 yr. old, she looks larger than is true. I told the boys they had to spend all afternoon feeding her. London asked, “Mom…? Do we have to chew them up & spit them into her mouth?” (I had told them this when the babes first arrived). Unable to find grubs, the 2 boys now fed her worms. She did eat them but she would need a more balanced diet.

After consulting with animal rescue, we over-nighted her outdoors. In the predawn hours I sat out & listened for the birds to awake. As they began their song, I gently brought forth Little One. As I held her, she is not much bigger than a golf ball & is nearly weightless. See how tiny she is in the washcloth, next to the petunias.I returned her to the protection of the side flowerbed & she immediately started calling out for her parents. They would feed her & continue her flight training. By mid-day the beds were silent.
In the evening, I could hear her siblings practicing for their adult voices, but not Little One…..As I lounged in the pool, watching the sun set, a hummingbird landed near me. I spoke a soft greeting & heard the familiar cheep of Little One high in a tree. We spoke back & forth a bit. Her dad flew in, chittering warnings & she fell silent. Apparently it is his charge to keep up with her.

When I was a child, my brother over-nighted a mourning dove. She returned to raise her young and would come near him throughout her life. I hope Little One will do the same….

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