Tuesday, February 17, 2009
A Small But Amazing Moment
If you've ever lived in a home with large windows you've experienced that occasional, horrible thud of a bird crashing into your house. It happened here yesterday. I came home, looked outside and saw a lifeless form. Upon closer inspection I saw that this bird was larger than the usual birds which have an otherwise great day of flying interrupted by my house. It was a young golden eagle. My heart sunk. If you've never seen a bird of prey like an eagle or hawk up close it's worth the effort. There is a confidence, beauty and focus in their gaze that is amazing. And their bodies have a strength that sets them apart from the birds we are used to seeing. And now I had killed one. But what could I do? I grabbed a plastic bag to pick up the bird and went outside but as soon as I opened the door, he stirred. My heart leapt. But my brief moment of elation was tempered by the sudden realization that he might be badly injured. Now what? CPR. Bandage him up. Take him to a vet, the ranger station. Strangely, 25 years of advertising hadn't prepared me for this. Then the worst thought of all passed through my mind. Would I have to kill this beautiful creature rather than see him freeze to death or suffer the inability to fly and hunt? I decided the best thing to do was to make him a little home where he could rest the night without freezing and hope for the best. So I got a box and put some shredded paper in it. I put some water in a dish. I wanted to feed him but we were all out of mice. Gathering up my makeshift emergency room I headed back to the bedroom. When I looked outside he was there but had shifted his position and was now standing on his feet but hunched over like a stone gargoyle on a skyscraper. How would I get him in the box? Would he try to peck my eyes out if I touched him? Anyway, the moment I opened the door he turned to look at me, stared a moment of two, then took off and flew into the canyon. He had only been stunned. I stayed outside and watched him soar through the canyon then went back inside feeling very, very happy.