Sunday, March 15, 2015

When Life Hands You Dead Birds

Yesterday afternoon, the MiL mentioned to A. that she had seen a dead Cooper's Hawk under the forsythia bushes. Cooper's Hawks hunt small birds, and we have large flocks of English sparrows that move into the forsythia bushes in the winter, so I guess that's why it was there. It turned out to be an immature hawk, meaning not a skillful-enough hunter to make it through this awful winter.

Cubby had actually told me a few days ago that he had seen a bigger bird hunting the English sparrows by the forsythias. I half-consciously registered this bit of information, since I was probably busy making dinner or changing Jack or something equally engrossing at the time, but I remembered this when the MiL told A. about the dead hawk.

So I told A. he should show it to Cubby and Charlie before he threw it in the gully.

Next thing I know, Charlie's wandering around the house with a dead Cooper's Hawk clutched to his chest.

I told him to take it back outside. A dead bird isn't quite as bad as a live lamprey eel, but I think it still definitely falls in the "outside only" category.

Five minutes later, I went outside to find Cubby flying the dead hawk around in his hands, pretending it was hunting, with Charlie following along behind.

Yes, my sons were playing with a dead bird as if it were a toy plane. And I didn't even stop them. I was a little repelled, but I just told Cubby that he could play with it now, but then it would have to be thrown in the gully because it was going to start rotting soon.

Five minutes later, Charlie was screaming his head off in the garden because Cubby had tossed the hawk into the gully as I had instructed. But Charlie wasn't done playing with it.

And it was at this moment, as I comforted Charlie about the loss of the dead bird that had been their play thing, that I really had to wonder how in the hell I got here.


Drew @ How To Cook Like Your Grandmother said...

Same way we get anywhere: one small, reasonable step at a time.

tu mere said...

I guess that's one of the good things about y'all's winter - dead things stay frozen enough to not become untouchable, at least for a while.

Actually, it makes sense to play with the bird. Kind of like a cold stuffed toy. They're definitely not squeamish about most anything, which is good, I guess. Us adults, not so much.

Joellen said...

I love this story I have read it twice now!

Daisy said...

Thank goodness you have a blog! You couldn't make this stuff up. Just couldn't.