LITTLE BIRD

LITTLE BIRD

A/N: This is a true story. It took place on the 19th September 2001. It's rather sad. You could make me happy again if you reviewed this. Thank you.

My mother was writing a letter in the afternoon when she heard a thud against the glass door of the veranda. Thinking it was only a draught of wind which had slammed the door closed, she continued writing. When lunch-time came she went to see if the door was closed. That is when she called out to me. This is what I saw: a small, brown bird lying on the stone floor of the veranda, its tail flapping very feebly. I felt so numb when I saw it lying there; it looked so helpless, lost, small and cold with an autumn-wind ruffling its feathers.

We ate lunch as quickly as possible-although I had lost my appetite-and, at my suggestion, took out the Easter basket, removed the eggs and covered the fake grass with kitchen paper and a napkin. I went outside and picked up the bird with a kitchen paper. There was no blood or wound; but the force of the impact was made very clear by a few tiny feathers still clinging to the glass of the door. The bird was nearly weightless. Its black eye was half opened. I could not determine whether it was stunned-or dead. Tenderly I placed it in the basket and covered it with the napkin so that only its tail and head were visible. I put the basket on top of the radiator so that the bird would feel warm. That afternoon I could hardly watch television; again and again I softly went up to the radiator and peered into the basket. Towards the end of the afternoon I noticed that the bird's eye was dull. I realised that it was indeed dead. I took the basket, and, cradling it in my arms, sat down on the sofa and began to cry silently as I gazed at the small occupant. My father came home from work in the evening. He was told about the unfortunate accident. On seeing the poor little thing he remarked how pretty it was. The bird was indeed pretty although its plumage was plain: mainly brown; a whitish stripe over the eye and a white belly. We decided to put it inside a box instead of burying it outside in the lawn, where the cats would smell it (although I don't think they eat dead birds) and the body would putrefy. So my mother searched for a box and found one. We put tissues inside and also the napkin which had been used for the basket as a kind of a shroud for it. I held up the bird, and that's when we saw its white belly and chest. Its little feet were pulled close to the body. After closing and decorating the box, I placed it gently in the garbage bag-right on top of all the garbage. My father tied up the bag. He said the little bird would be cremated.

I looked up its name in a bird-book. Unfortunately, I don't know what its English name is (the book is in German), so I'll write down its Latin name: Sylvia borin. I'll never ever forget how helpless, frail and fragile it looked. That tiny, beady eye which became glazed. Those little feet. The feathers still sticking to the glass after the impact. Maybe it died at once after crashing against the glass. Maybe it died slowly in a coma. Whatever: it died. It would never open its wings to fly away or its beak to sing. Never. But I'm glad that it "came" to us. I'm glad I could give it some love and some warmth, even though it might have already been dead.