Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Birds and death

Yesterday was a day that started out well and I hoped this would be the first day in a while that would go by without any sadness - I guess, I was wrong. Do you remember one of my latest entries in which I said I would never take care of a bird again after the Pukeko died? I was actually quite serious about this - after all, my care only seems to kill the birds instead of doing them anything good.

Yesterday, when I went to one of the pigeon lofts to feed some of the bird of my friend, I noticed that one of the little baby pigeons was missing. It had been a problem case before and my friend had to hand-feed it because the parents did not do a good job. When I went in last afternoon, only the bigger of the two babies was in the nest and my first thought was: "Oh no, he has killed it without saying a word!" But then I knew that my friend would not just kill that one and he had not been down in that loft since the morning. So I started searching for it and finally found the little one hiding somewhere. It had fallen about one and a half metres down from the nest and must have walked a bit to safety. It had a red eye (maybe another pigeon picked on it or it had fallen on that side). One of the wings appeared hurt as well and I felt like the world wanted to show me one thing: "Hey, I can't help you with your dreams but I surely can show you some more nightmares."

Instead of doing more work, I sat with that bird for a while, not wanting to go back, not having to tell my friend what happened because there was just one thought in my head: "Now he's really going to kill it. He'll say it's a rubbish bird and that'll be the end of it." I know that he finds no joy in killing any of his birds and sometimes it saves the bird a lot of suffering.

After a while, I made my way back to the other pigeon loft but did not want to go back to the house. My timing wasn't so good because my friend was in the other loft, getting some pigeons in and other pigeons out. I was dreading the moment when he would ask me either how I was or how the birds in the breeding sections were. And of course it did not take him long to ask. I just wanted to drop dead at that moment, I had no more energy. I felt like it was my fault that the bird turned out like it did. I had chosen it as a favourite, I had given it a name. It had been such an energetic bird and so happy in the beginning - but being one of my favourites seems to be like a curse for the birds!

I told my friend about the bird, having a very hard time to not have an emotional break-down. And of course, he said what I expected him so say: "It's a waste of time to try to save it. I'll have to kill it tonight." While we were looking at some of the birds in one of the sections, I had a really hard time. Later, I decided to go back to the other loft, doing a daily job of renewing the waters in the evening. I knew my friend would come down later with the food (usually we go down there together), so I decided to spend the time until he arrived with the bird, so that the last hour or so of the life of that little pigeon would be with someone who cares.

Later, my friend arrived and I dreaded the moment in which I would have to hand over the bird to him and he would kill it. When he finally looked at Merry (and the brother is called Pippin), he said it did not look as bad as he thought it would and that we could take the bird up to the house. I thought: "If I have to take care of it, there's no way it's going to live." I suspected that my friend thought my care would be a sure way to get the bird killed anyway. On one hand, I did not want my friend to kill it but on the other hand, I also did not want to take the responsibility for another life.

Merry is now in the cage in which we also had other birds. She made it through the night but who knows how she actually feels? I certainly should not choose favourite birds in the future. Look what happened to them in the past:

Lucy: she was very sick and she's still not a bird that's 100%. But she only got her name because she was fighting to hard to live.
Seagull: it's a very clever bird but he often does not want to return into the loft after being outside. Also took one day to return from a toss from which should have only taken 2-5 minutes for a bird to return home.
Sam (the chicken who I wanted to be friends with Frodo): died in my care
Gabby (the Pukeko): died in my care
1162 and 1163: never return from tosses in time
Saruman: has a wife that doesn't lay any eggs
Gandalf: has two very demanding kids and sometimes had both of them diving into his throat for food. Fights with Saruman every now and then.
Galadriel: is getting picked on by other birds just because she's different.
Merry: does not get food from parents, falls out of nest and gets hurt.
Tui: is called fat and lazy by my friend (okay, that's not such a problem but it shows that I always only seem to pick pigeons that are no good).

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