Thursday, September 14, 2006

Musings 171--Leland and me.

I heard the chirping when I came into the building to go to work. I thought that it was just a loud bird on the roof. It wasn't.

Coming out of the bathroom, I thought I saw something move across the floor to the back door. I flipped on the light and that was my first encounter with Leland. He was huddled on the damp floor looking up at me with fear in his eyes. He was a sparrow that had somehow fallen out of his nest into my building. As soon as I saw him, the name Leland came to mind. No reason, it just fit.

I gently picked him up and saw that he was big enough to fly. I called to my wife, who loves to look at such things, and we gave the little bird the once over. He seemed healthy enough so we opened the door and I walked across the gravel parking lot to the chain link fence that marks the edge of our lot. I set the now-named Leland on the top of the fence. He immediately flew awkwardly over to some morning glory vines and hid. Looking up, I saw Leland's mother sitting on the roof watching my every move.

"He'll be fine," I assured my wife. "His mother will feed him until he can fly good."

The next day, I pulled into my parking lot and there, sitting in the dirt was Leland. I know it was him because he had a piece of bird down still stuck to the back of his head. I got out of my car and he looked at me, chirped and flew to the fence. I said: "Good morning, Leland," and went in to the shop for work.

Well, during the next few days, I would come across Leland playing in the dirt of the parking lot. He seemed to love rooting his head in the dust and flapping his little wings. He would not let me touch him, but he definitely remembered me. Maybe he had imprinted me to his birdy mind.

Sometimes I'd go make deliveries and have to shoo Leland from under my car. He would fly to the chain link fence and fuss at me. He was neat.

As time went on, I saw less and less of Leland. He had lost his piece of fluff on his head and he looked just like all the rest of his brothers and sisters. So yesterday, I walked outside and there, under my car sat Leland. He chirped, dipped his head into the dust and flew up to his spot on the fence. He then flew to a house roof across the street and then zoomed off with his bothers and sisters. It made me feel good.

Live long, Leland. Come back and play in my dirt anytime.


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