Friday, May 15, 2009

Twenty-Fourth Step

So this is the story of "Little Fly" (Clarissa named him) continued...when Robert got home from praise team, Little Fly was lying down outside the box and was not moving. Yes, Little Fly had died in the 2 hours that Robert was gone! We know that was too fast to starve to death, due to his big fat belly, and he had enough feathers that 65-degree weather wouldn't have killed him. In the fledgling stage, they can be out on their own for 2 or 3 days before they fly, with their moms kind of looking out for them and caring for them. So he wouldn't have needed the warmth of the nest at this stage. It was a sad revelation for all of us, and we still don't know the exact cause of death. A cat could have played with him; if he did fall down a long way from the nest he could have had some kind of internal injuries or bleeding or even a brain injury; or could he have died from the shock of it all and not having his mommy? 

I felt grieved, but also guilty--did we do the wrong thing? Should we have brought him in and put a heating pad under the box? Gotten some food into him? The info online made it sound like the best thing for them is to let their mommy find them, and we were not expecting him to go so fast. I think there were other issues going on, but it was hard to tell. He was really lethargic and disoriented, and didn't seem like himself--not that I have known too many baby birds. 

But I tried to give him to God, and cried some, and the questions I was asking God were, "Did you see him when he died, Lord? Did he somehow sense you were there with him?" I know He sees the sparrow fall, but does the sparrow sense Him at all? I grieved too over not having a pet, and how, if we went that route, I was excited to have the kids involved in helping feed him, learn about him, etc. I am sad they don't have any animals to know and learn about and care for. But the times I've tried indoor cats (which I grew up with) were very frustrating in my own household, especially since I'm not the greatest with cleaning, on any kind of schedule anyway. Right now at least, cleaning is on a very "this is getting grimy," as-needed basis. But shouldn't the joy and comfort that animals bring me outweigh the mess and inconvenience? 

Robert always had outside animals, which part of me still doesn't see the point of since I think I would just say Hi in passing and gingerly pet or pet while thinking, "This dog is so gross; I'm washing my hands first thing when I get inside." Or they smell like skunk, or get loose, or bark obsessively, or get bad ticks or worms. I don't know, indoor pets seem to have so much more personality and become more a part of the family. 

But pardon me, we are grieving Little Fly. We held a little funeral for him and buried him under our garden, with the kids both crying by the end--Clarissa real crying and Charlie fake crying, mostly because he wanted to pet it some more (we used gloves). Clare prayed to see the birdie again in heaven, and we prayed for God to take care of him. She was really sobbing though, and saying she wanted to make him a birdhouse and hold him...but I said he was hurt and he's not hurting now so that's a good thing, and we can make a birdhouse for a different birdie. It was hard to teach her about dying and grieving (she learned the words "buried" and "funeral") and to know that all I could do was hold her. By the time she went to bed, she said "Sweet birdie, in the yard dead," and I knew at least that she got it. She is so tender, and I have trouble having patience with her sensitivity sometimes, but definitely not in the life and death of Little Fly.

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