Thursday, August 16, 2018

I Made A New Friend This Morning, Her Name Is Betty

I've had an interesting morning and in a way I needed something like this to happen.

I had another night of nightmares.  Actually the this nightmare was more intense and painful than most of the others, though I won't go into all the details.  I've seen a counselor that is highly recommended but obviously we haven't had time to make a lot of progress yet.  But friends, it was another tortured night of a horrible nightmare on repeat.  The point is, I woke up early.

I thought I would get my mind off of it and go feed the birds.

It's a hobby I've developed now that I have more time on my hands.  (And, yes I know I'm probably turning into the crazy bird man, LOL . . . I've accepted that).

Each morning I go out and put more bird seed in the feeder, spread on the ground and a line on the window sill so I can watch them from my room.  Months ago I would get just a few birds.  But now . . . I get what seems to be hundreds coming and going each day.

Let me show you:

These are just a few of the friends that stop by each day to tweet with each other and have a morning meal.

Anyway, this morning was different.

As I opened my back door to the concrete patio (here at NorthPark Village Apartments - a truly wonderful place to live with the BEST manager on Earth.  And, I do sincerely mean that.  You want to live here - you will love it!) I saw a bird.

A small, what appeared to be baby bird was at my back door.

Here's what I found.

I have a strong compassion for any living thing and my fatherly instantly kicked in.  But, I wanted to make sure I had the right information.

I went to the computer, which seems to be the first step in anything these days.  From crisis, disaster, a question or just a curiosity . . . go to the computer, so I did.

I remembered hearing the tales of folks telling me not to touch baby birds because my scent would be on the bird and the parents would abandon it.  I didn't want that.

So it was a surprise that the first thing the web site, a reliable common one, said in bold print.  "Do not be afraid to handle the nestling or fledgling, the parents can't smell the baby bird yet."  I thought . . . whew, good!  I can help it then!

I read what to do.

It said try to determine if it is a nestling or a fledgling.  Although, I had heard those words in the past I really never thought about the difference.  Well, here it is.

A nestling is much more helpless.  Usually doesn't have any feathers or many at least and looks similar to a new born.  Those you should pick up and put in the nest if you can find it nearby.

Secondly, if it was a fledgling then just move it to a safer place and let the parents take over, they are nearby.  Most likely it's learning to fly and needs no assistance from us, unless you can see it's in immediate life-threatening danger.

Well, little "Betty" (that's what I named her) was in my way.  It is the walking area and I needed to feed the other birds.  So I needed to move her to a safer area so I wouldn't step on her.  

If that had happened I don't think my heart could have handled it.  Because then clearly I wouldn't have tried hard enough to help.

So I picked Betty up.

I didn't want to take more precious time away from helping Better to do a photo shoot with her.  And, she'll be more majestic once she grows up anyway, LOL.  Therefore, I only got one picture of her in my hand.

By this point I had called my dear friend in Burk that raises chickens and sells the eggs (by the way they are delicious and yes she is 'the chicken lady').  She confirmed that I was doing the right thing and gave me further advice to move Betty to a safe location and let the parents encourage her to fly without any more help from me.

I put Betty on the stoop away from where I needed to walk at first.  That wasn't a good place.  But, it did show me she knows how to flap her wings.  She hopped over to the edge and held on for dear life and flapped those little wings so fast.  But, then she seemed tired and wanted to go back to sleep.

So, I picked her back up and helped her to the grass.

There she was ready to take on the world.

It was moments later she tweeted!  What a beautiful sound to here when you are worried about someone or something.

And, from high above in the tree was two more birds and they tweeted back.  Safe to assume that's her parents.

So I said my good-bye and let her make her way in the world.

I went about feeding the other birds, keeping a close eye on her to make sure I didn't get near her again and making sure she was OK.


My day started absolutely horrible.  I went into the living room and lit my prayer candles; as I do every day.  I said my prayers and then made my prayer request for help, guidance and relief from the burden of pain from the night and minutes before.  

The prayer was answered in the form of a little bird named Betty that needed my help.

I can't tell you how much it uplifted my soul to know I helped something that was almost helpless and possibly made a tremendous difference in its' life as far as existing and having one.  It seems it was meant to be.  It made me feel great.

Friends, I know we live in a busy world that is currently preaching to us to not care about others, only care for yourself and don't worry if you offend or even hurt another human being or any being for that matter.  And, if you are one of those that subscribe to that belief, I wish you had been here this morning.  I may have time on my hands but I had things to do this morning and responsibilities.  But, helping another being, even in the form of a little, beautiful, bird lifted my soul to heights it hasn't been to in a long time.  It will do each of our souls and hearts good to share a kind word, help another living thing or actually go out of our way to make sure we don't say anything that hurts or offends.  It sure makes me feel better . . . and . . . Betty has a chance at a wonderful life out in the wild of God's nature.

Bryan W. Rupp