WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Bye bye birdies

I don’t like to toot my own horn (yes, I do), but I seem to have a skill that’s worth trumpeting. 

Seems I can bring dead birds back to life. 

Last year, a bird slammed into one of our sliding glass doors and landed on the deck in a tiny gray heap. I went out and looked it over, convinced that it was a goner, but there was no blood so I arranged its body so that it was resting on its feet, like it might sit in a nest. I stroked its head. I gave it the gentlest little CPR squeezes, but it didn’t respond. I let it stay there, waiting for a miracle, and went back inside. 

Twenty minutes later it was gone. 

Then, last week, another bird slammed into our front window and fell at least fifteen feet to the driveway. I ran out to check the damage, and that thing was already deceased. It wasn’t pining for the fjords, and it wasn’t resting. It had ceased to exist. I believe it was a kind of woodpecker, with a pastel yellow body, dark speckled wings, and a red cap. It had been a woodpecker, I should say. 

I picked it up and massaged its chest. No reaction. Its head lolled. You know that looseness. It’s upsetting. It says, Hi, I’m dead

It happened to be trash day, so I laid the bird in the trash can on top of a bag of leaves from the yard. I was gentle and respectful about it, a little solemn. Then I put the can out on the street and went back inside. 

That evening, when I went to put the last bit of the day’s trash into the can, that bird was gone. I’m not kidding. I rearranged all the trash in the can, looking for it, but it was not there. 

Somehow, it had come to, freaked out, struggled hard enough to open up a gap in under the lid to escape through, and left. 

This bird had flown. 

A few days later I saw a red-capped woodpecker in the tree out front and patted myself on the back. 

[Photo by Chris Chow on Unsplash.]

3 comments on “Bye bye birdies

  1. Audrey Driscoll
    June 8, 2021

    I hate to suggest this, but is it possible some critter removed those birds? A scavenger? But there was a lid on the can, you say!
    Maybe you’re like Herbert West for birds… Without having to inject anything, even.

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This entry was posted on June 8, 2021 by in Et alia and tagged , .
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