It’s all good, my little friend
It’s Sunday afternoon (4th of August) and I the morose and workaholic Capricorn (I don’t believe in Astrology but sometimes it’s fun to make references to it, eh?) am working on my thesis chapter. I’ve just come back to my study space after about 20 minutes. I’m a little breathless. This is why:
As soon as I got to the building’s foyer to take a leak, from my right something fluttered past my face, leaving me in a momentary state of panic. No, it wasn’t an earthquake and things from the ceiling weren’t falling down. It was just a little sparrow, very much like the one in the picture that had flew or rather blundered into the building from a little open crack in a large window.
Of course, once inside, the bird had no idea how to get out and frolic again in the trees that abundantly cover university’s campus. Anyway, I proceeded to take care of my personal business which, as I have mentioned earlier, was to take a leak. My urinary duty done, I came out of the toilet and noticed that the tiny bird was going insane in its (I don’t know if it was a male or female, therefore I use “it”) desperation to get out of the building. In this part of the building, the foyer and connected walkways/corridor are surrounded by glass so that you get an ample view of the open spaces around the building.
Apparently, nature hasn’t equipped the bird to detect glass. So, again and again, the little bird would spot the great outdoors through glass, take an energetic flight and thud into the glass! Thwock! Thwock! Thwock…. and it would fall down on the floor, look at the other end and fly towards the glass, picking speed mid-air and …. THWOCK! Even though the there were two windows ajar, the bird just wouldn’t find the open crack. Instead it would ram hard into the glass….. THWOCK!!!!…..
Now, I am usually a strong believer in “every man for himself” philosophy. I suppose in this situation it would translate into “Every Bird for himself/herself”…. But my vulnerable human heart began to melt watching this bird getting more and more frantic and wounded. As a kid, I have killed quite a few birds who came under my care, largely due to neglect and ignorance. A few of them were eaten or maimed by my pet dogs. I thought if I save this bird I may be able to assuage some of that guilt.
I also know that most people who find birds inside buildings conveniently kill them and throw them in a trash bin. They cannot be bothered to chase and rescue the bird and release it to freedom. Although, this being a university building, there are plenty of bleeding heart Lefties, Liberals, Nature Lovers, Tree-Huggers who would rescue this bird. But remember, this was Sunday (about 2pm), and they’re most likely somewhere sipping wine by a nice beach, or maybe somewhere out there hugging another tree. They wouldn’t be back till next morning, which was about 18 hours away. Meanwhile this bird would not stop hurting itself.
Also, I reasoned, if the poor and distraught bird stayed trapped in the building all evening and night, it would not get to sleep in its comfy bed at night somewhere in the trees. Even if this bird was rescued by someone the next (Monday) morning before it died it would go through extreme psychological distress. I just could not leave the birdie to its fate. It was intervention time.
So there began my long struggle with the little sparrow. As soon as it noticed me approach it became 5 times more distressed. Its flights became quicker, faster and its crashes against the glass more painful. But I continued the chase, back and forth, from one end to the other end. Every time I got close it let out a bird-scream. It kept flying past me either over my head or through spaces between my legs, hands and arms. If someone had seen me they could have rebuked me for tormenting the bird like that. The bird was all out of breath, it could not fly anymore and began to hide behind rubbish bins. But I kept chasing it because I had to have it in my hands before I could release it out of the open window.
From bird’s perspective it was fighting for its life in the enclosed space. It had NOWHERE to hide. Instead of giving up, in its desperation the bird found the stairs and flew up to the floor above! Breathlessly, I pursued it. Now the same drama of mad pursuit continued on this floor for another few minutes. And Behold! I grabbed the little thing finally after blocking its flight in one corner.
I held it in one hand. The bird had panicked look on its face, its beak was open trying to catch breath, its eyes were full of fright. It prepared to die. Maybe it was saying last bird-prayers before departing the planet forever? I started going down the stairs to get to the open window. I did not want to hold it tight as I was afraid it would smother it. So, I eased my grip… and behold!… it jerked out of my hand and flew off to bump against the glass once more. “O…You Fucking Idiot!” I addressed the poor bird in my anger.
But I kept chasing the bird, who was still too tired and out of breath. When the second time I had it in the corner, it gave up easily– READY TO DIE.
I had it in my hand again, firmly this time. I did not want to prolong this struggle anymore. I released it from the open window and off it flew into the open space, as I stood there breathless and covered in sweat. I’m sure it prayed to some bird-God thanking Him for saving its life. The bird must have thought it dodged me–the killer– once more! Indeed, how lucky the little sparrow must have felt escaping from its murderous, bloodthirsty human Predator……