This morning as I was about to leave the house to go to work, my wife, who was returning from delivering our green compost bin to the end of the driveway, informed me of four dead little baby birds that were on our walkway and driveway. Would I dispose of them, she asked. I would, I offered.
I don’t know how they died. Perhaps a cat? Perhaps some bigger bird. I assumed they came for the birdhouse that is attached to our rapidly deteriorating barn/shed. If they were from that house, then they were kind of like family, I thought, because that’s how I see the birds that live on our property: like family. Not tenants. Family.
They were the tiniest little baby birds, maybe two inches long. Seemingly featherless, nothing but bone and skin. I got a spade and gently scooped them up, two at a time and then whipped them into the small grove of trees behind our yard. I didn’t like whipping them in there, poor little dead pieces of nothing, but I really had no option. The compost cart, afterall, was way at the end of the driveway.
As I was scooping up the final two birds, I thought to myself "Hey, I should take a picture of this." You know, to somehow commemorate their death. To honour them. Then I thought about it and decided that I wasn’t the kind of guy that took pictures of little dead fetal birds.
I’m glad, in the end, maybe in some Amish way, that I didn’t take the picture.
Tonight’s menu: Chicken!!