I absolutely have to write about my sparrow today, for today is the day that all "mothers" both eagerly await and just as intensely dread.
For the past two weeks my daughter-in-law Grace and I have been the surrogate mothers for a baby sparrow which Grace and Rama had found in our barn. She has looked equally to each of us to feed her, but she has been residing in my part of our house because they have cats and I no longer do. I spend a good part of my day in a chair beside my computer, and she has spent most of hers on my shoulder cuddling against my neck. She has gone to sleep nesting on my head. I have left her there until dark when I gently place her on the back of my chair and head for bed myelf. I have had to go to bed early because she wakes up early and cheeps loudly for my attention. This morning she surprised me by flying into my bedroom to greet me.
This is my second try at raising a sparrow. Back in the days when my eldest son, who is now nearing sixty, was only twelve, I succeeded in rearing another and sending it out into the world. That little bird I remember especially because it would sit on my son's shoulder while he was practicing his piano. As long as my son kept playing, the bird would just sit. But if he stopped, the bird would peck at him until he started playing again...!
This little sparrow has thrived on our care and now is flying really well. Also within the past two days she is now feeding herself. This involved a bit of struggle between the sparrow and me. I could see that her beak was maturing and I was watching for her to start picking at the birdseed I have sprinkled liberally on the floor. She surprised me by starting to pick at her baby food first. But as soon as I saw this, I refused to feed her any more. Ths meant I received quite a few indignant pecks before she finally accepted her new status.
As quickly as I could, I followed her out of the bedroom and opened the door onto the deck. I have been putting birdseed out there the past two days to attract other sparrows, hoping that they and she will become interested in each other.
And this morning has been the day. She has just come in again from her second venture out with some of her cousins into the rest of the world. A the moment she is back on my shoulder, resting up from her forays. And I am wondering whether her next trip out will be the final one....