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Please, Don’t Make Me Go!

June 26, 2008


Slice of Life Sunday is a meme dedicated to preserving the accounts of events cut out of the lives of average people just like you and me from all over the world. And like having ice cream with your pie, there is more to this meme than meets the eye – it’s a meme a` la mode. I hope you will join me and share a Slice of your Life.



One week ago I received a lay-off and while this is usually devastating news to most employees, it came as a blessing to me. The economy has made a day at the office an unpleasant experience. For the past three months, I have had to force myself to go into work. The anticipated lay-off finally came and I am excited to have the summer, or hopefully most of it off. I am now free to do projects I have put on the back burner so many times they are boiling over in necessity to be completed. One of my bigger projects is to repair and paint 400 feet of picket fence outlining my yard. I also need to paint the trim on my home and the wood porch furniture. To my surprise, I am up and at it every morning. No longer do I have to drag myself out of bed. I find myself actually excited each morning to throw on my sweats and an old top and head outside by 7:30am. Each morning I take time to sit on the porch and sip a cup of coffee while watching and listening to the birds.


I have come to enjoy watching the birds, particularly the comings and goings around a large barn-inspired bird house I received as a birthday present from my dearest friends two years ago. This birdhouse has been quite the conversational piece to any who come to visit. It is a handmade replica of an old barn complete with a tin roof and a tractor sitting in front of the barn door. Birds immediately took up residence as soon as my father and brother sat it up high on a 4×4 in the front yard. This summer we have a full house with all five compartments filled with nests of wrens and sparrows. It has been interesting watching the mother and father bird bring trigs, leaves and whatever they find to build their nest. Recently, the mother birds have carted in food and water for the babies. Dad and I have spent many hours just sitting and watching the baby birds come to the hole in anticipation of their next meal. I began getting restless waiting for the time the babies would be ready to leave their nest.


Three days ago, while I was scrubbing down a section of the picket fence I had the joy of watching a baby bird come out of its nest. I have never seen this before, so I immediately put down my scrub brush and helped myself to a front row seat on my porch glider to see how the baby bird would react to its new world. The poor little bird had come out of the hole and missed the landing the barn is sitting on and fell to the ground. It was so startled, it just sat on the ground looking around. It sat there, in one spot, for almost a half an hour looking around with an occasional chirp as if to say, “Hey, where did everyone go? What do I do now mom?”  Just when I became concerned that it may have gotten hurt in its decent to the new world, the baby bird flapped its wings once and then flew across the yard and landed on the picket fence. It sat there a few minutes and then flew away. I was amazed to see how birds just fly the first time they try. They do not have the trials of a toddler learning to walk. The natural instincts of baby animals have always been a fascination of mine. While we humans supposedly possess the highest intellect, it takes up to eighteen years, and sometimes longer, before our offspring are ready to fly.


Later that same day, I noticed the mother bird take more food to the hole containing her nest. Ah, there was another baby bird still in the nest and I happily realized I may have the opportunity for a repeat performance. I kept a watchful eye, but the little bird did not venture out of his home. The next day, the mother bird tried numerous times to coax the baby out of its nest. The baby would poke its head out of the hole and look around, but would retreat to safety. I became so intrigued by this little bird refusing to come out of its nest, I decided to paint our glider chair instead of washing more fence. Now, I could stay on the porch to see how the mother bird was going to get this baby to leave the nest. Dad and I were eating lunch, sitting on the porch of course, and I noticed the mother bird brought what appeared to be part of a worm and took it to the front of the hole. The baby bird immediately pecked at the food but the mother quickly took it away and sat it on the landing. The baby bird looked at her and then at the food laying about a foot away, then back at its mother and chirped. The mother flew away leaving the baby to study on its predicament. It would have to come out of the hole if it wanted to eat. Smart mother I thought, so much for the implications of the saying “bird-brained.” I began to paint again and the baby bird continued to look at its lunch lying on the landing. Finally, another bird came along and helped itself to lunch. The baby bird retreated back into its nest. This went on the rest of the day and evening. The mother bird would bring food and leave it on the landing and the baby bird would watch the food from the safety of its hole until another bird came along and stole its meal. The mother bird would give the baby water throughout the day, but it was late in the evening before she let it have the food she brought. I was so fascinated watching the mother bird spend her day trying to obtain the empty-nest syndrome, I not only painted the glider chair, but also a metal three-tiered stand and two sets of shutters.


As soon as I opened my eyes this morning I thought, “This is it, today the baby bird will leave its nest.” I quickly dressed, brushed my teeth, grabbed a cup of coffee and headed outside. Sure enough, the baby bird was looking out its hole, almost like it was waiting for me but I knew it was waiting for food. I took down the remaining two sets of shutters and started painting. Throughout the morning the mother continued on her quest to coax the baby out. I had painted the shutters and was starting on the three-seat glider when I noticed the mother bird go into the hole. A few minutes later she came out carrying some trigs. She flew away and came back a few minutes later and entered the hole. Again she came out with more trigs. On her third trip I realized she was taking the nest out of the hole. “Well,” I thought, “Now that’s a lesson parents of deadbeat twenty-something adult children could learn from. If the kids won’t move out, sell the house from underneath them!” By 5:00 I had the glider, along with the sashes around all four sets of windows painted and the mother bird had removed what I assumed was everything in her nest. She flew away and I never saw her return the rest of the afternoon and evening.


I took a shower and decided to grill steaks and potatoes for dinner. Yes, the grill is located on the porch. I continued to keep an eye on the baby bird and began to be concerned about what it was going to do. It would poke its head out of the hole and chirp but would not come out. It was also beginning to vomit. It was extremely warm and humid. The mother bird had not returned for more than two hours. As dad and I continued to watch the baby bird, I expressed my concern it would die from hunger and thirst while it was still in its nestless-home. Dad assured me it would figure it out and leave when it got hungry enough. A few minutes later, the baby bird finally came out of the hole and sat on the landing. It looked around and chirped a few times and flew away. After two days of drama, mostly on my part, it simply flew away.


As I watched the baby bird fly into the trees, dad looked around at the painted porch furniture, shutters and windows and remarked, “I thought you didn’t like to paint.” To this I replied, “I don’t, but I love watching the birds.”

7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2008 3:50 pm

    What a great story. Birds (moms and babies in particular) can teach us so much. I love to watch them weave their magic.

    Enjoy a liberating summer and happy fence painting!

    ~~Thank you for stopping in for a visit. I checekd out My Poetic Path. Very interesting. I would love it if you would write another slice of life. Cricket

  2. June 28, 2008 12:45 am

    Enjoy your time off from work. Like you, I love to watch the birds. The other day we saw one like we had never seen before. It had a reall pretty color of bright, vivid blue.

    Have a good weekend.

    ~~ It is nice to have time to get projects done around home. Dad and I are spending more time watching the birds and I am thinking about getting a book to learn more about them. Cricket

  3. June 28, 2008 7:12 pm

    Cricket, you are always so sweet to leave a comment on my blog, and I didn’t realize until now that I had left you off the list for the award. I just couldn’t think of everyone. I do hope you will take the award for yourself if you so choose.

  4. Wyndspirit permalink
    June 28, 2008 10:04 pm

    I’m glad I discovered Slice of Life Sunday. It’s even gotten me working on my essay website again! 🙂

    ~~ Thank you Wyndspirit. I am so please Slice of Life has influenced your essay writing. It probably will not be a surprise to anyone who reads much of my blog to know I love writing essays also. I was one of the few in college who became excited to hear tests would be essay answers! lol Cricket

  5. Wyndspirit permalink
    June 28, 2008 10:24 pm

    P.s. ~ I was laid off when my job was outsourced to India (call center), and it took me a full year to find another job. My biggest complaint (after not having any money to pay the lot rent) was that I was enjoying being unemployed WAY too much! For all I (mostly) love my current job, I have never enjoyed being in the workforce. I envy you your summer of freedom!

  6. June 29, 2008 12:01 pm

    what an exciting story! My bro didn’t move out, he just bought the house from my parents and they moved out…LOL…then sold the house to my sister and she lives there now and brother is married with a children of his own. I had never heard of a bird of taking the nest like that. Smart mom.
    Congrats on your layoff! Still mulling over slice of life as usual..I’ll get to it eventually ;p

    ~~ I must say “that is keeping it in the family!” I was a bit shocked when I realized the mother bird was taking the nest out with a baby still in the hole. I guess it is all part of nature’s way. Cricket

  7. June 29, 2008 8:15 pm

    I am so glad that your layoff is a positive change. I am in love with your bird house and the bird stories. There is a little piece of magic right there in your garden. I wouldn’t be able to stop watching. Oh, please let us know how all the darling baby birds fare. What a wonderful post!

    ~~ This birdhouse was such a wonderful surprise (I had admired theirs on a previous visit) from greatfullivin and her sweety. It has given me so much joy. I am happy to report all the little birds are doing fine and mother bird is in the mating process of having more. Now I understand why she wanted all the babies out of the nest. Cricket

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