Worth the Effort

They tell you it is not worth the effort. They give reasons and excuses to impede your hope. When stories don’t work they hit you with facts. But it is up to you. It is always up to you. To accept defeat or to give yourself to the wonder of what-can-be.

So when I saw the baby birds lying in the drive-way as cats lurched about, I had to think fast and act faster. All the while the thought, “Don’t pick up a bird, the mother will smell you on it and will refuse it later, ” and other such negativities danced through my head trying to halt my progress.

The grass was high, but I spotted two babies. Others told me they had seen the birds down as well, so we were in agreement. Two. As I chased away the cats, I asked friends to stand guard and went to find a makeshift nest. I found a plastic-covered wire basket that I was glad I had not disposed of, and some twine. Time of the essence, I scooped some drying grass which would become their cushion and hopefully keep the little ones from falling out.

As I approached the babies, I realized we were being observed by a red winged black bird and I swung the makeshift nest into the tree. Then the fun began as I picked up the little ones and an adult bird decided to dive at me. OK, good, parents still around: confirmed.

The thoughts that keep buzzing about your head are generally more harmful than the reality. “What if the parents don’t come to feed? What if the cats come back? What if they fall from this nest?” Then someone told me if they really were red winged black birds they didn’t nest in a tree… Doubt at this point was fully loaded. But I had to try. I stopped back a bit later in the day and dropped a bit of water into each gaping mouth and hoped the parents would take over where my capabilities would fail. They did.


One day passed and both were still alive and growing. Two days passed, and while the cats prowled, they respected the nest and all was well. Three days and as I came upon the nest as one of the wee ones took flight.


Four days with mom and dad still observing my intentions but no longer dive bombing me, the little one still looked unsure of departing the nest. Later that day, it was gone, and the scat and the intact nest told me all I needed to know. It was fine and off to its new life.


Never give up trying to make things better for someone. Far better to lend a hand than to turn a back. Ignore the wisdom of people who put too much faith in what they have heard or read and invest instead in the reality of being alive.

I think we call it kindness.

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