“Whack” the sound of the tennis ball colliding with my strings sent a vibration up my arm. I was playing tennis at the Easton Racquet Club with my brother. It was pitch black outside except for the huge lights above the tennis court providing us with blinding rays of white light. It was 9:00 P.M and bugs were whizzing by our ears.
We had finished our last point and we were walking back to the clubhouse to get drinks when we saw a small and orange object fall from a bird’s nest. We then heard the flapping of wings and saw five sparrows take off from their nest to start their nightly hunt. Curious, we walk over to the chair and let out a gasp. We were looking at something that 1 out of 100 people see in a lifetime. It was a newborn sparrow. It’s skin was blue and orange and it’s body was as translucent as a bag of marbles, so much so that you could see its organs. It had not developed eyes or ears yet. It chirped softly sending out a distress call to a mother that would never come back. I imagined what it would feel like to be abandoned by your mother in a world that you have only been in for a day. ” There has to be a problem with it, says my mother. Why else would its mother abandon it.”
I was truly shocked. I never knew that I would be experiencing such a cool thing. It was unexpected. My brother tried pouring a little bit of water near the spot where the bird lay but it didn’t seem to drink it. I was still mesmerized by how small and cool the bird looked. Meanwhile, my mom was frantically trying to call animal control to see if they were open. They weren’t.
“We’ll it seems that it’s going to be staying with us for the night,” says my Mom.
“Yes” I whispered. A burst of excitement lit inside me. I had always felt a strong connection to animals my whole life. Helping them gave me a good feeling. We grabbed dirt, leaves, and a few small sticks and placed them on a paper plate while slowly trying to push the bird on the plate. We did not want to touch it since our last hope was that the mother would come back for it and if it smelled like a human, that hope would be gone. We then got into our car and slowly drove home making sure that the bird was secure in my brother’s arms. When we got home, my mother googled how to take care of a newborn sparrow. The instructions said to place it in a shoebox with a soft cloth and tiny sticks with dirt and leaves to make it feel like it was in a safe nest. It also said to feed it mashed up dog food moistened with water and watermelon. We also found out that the bird was most likely born prematurely.
A feeling of discipline and responsibility overcame me during the next few days. I felt like a new person. We had to feed it every hour and make sure that it was okay and feeling alright. We fed it through a syringe. Everything seemed to be running smoothly through the next six hours except for the strange fact that the bird had stopped chirping. Little did we know that there was another problem that was even more horrific. I was the first to notice the problem. The bird’s stomach seemed to be getting smaller. It looked like it had shrunk two centimeters. Suddenly the hope in my house died. It had just grown mini talons and we thought that it was going to make it through this as a happy and healthy baby bird. We were wrong. We knew that death was a very strong possibility for the bird. In our research we found that most birds that are born prematurely die. This worried us.
On the third day of this exciting adventure, it finally came to an end. The bird that we had named Birdie was dead. We said our goodbyes and our final wishes to the bird before we put it on our deck to be taken by a predator. I felt weak. We had really expected this to be a happy ending. Over the course of these days I had grown stronger in the respect for nature and its inhabitants. I had changed as a person forever. We had really experienced nature and the beautiful things inside it. It was a great but sad experience dealing with the bird. I just had to remind myself that many people would have just let the bird stay where it had fallen from its nest and let it fend for itself. I will never forget this day. The stark reality that all living things will eventually die resonated within me but I cannot help but feel that the end came too soon for birdy We had tried our hardest and put our heart into helping an injured animal of nature but to no avail.