Sunday, July 21, 2019

Mother Bird

“Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions.”- Stephen Covey

I live out in the country and there is on old, rocky road on my place that goes over to a barn. I don’t use the barn for much besides storage. So grass and weeds are starting to take over the road. But it is still there with an assortment of colorful small rocks and stones between the ruts.

A while back I was hauling some more really valuable keepsakes (junk) to the barn in my pickup. In the middle of the road I saw a Killdeer. It’s a bird. They do better around water, but for some reason you will see them in strange places in these parts. In Texas we call them Kill-dees. They are not the smartest birds and must have a fear of heights, since they nest on the ground and lay their eggs where snakes and other critters can eat them; assuming some old codger in a pickup truck doesn’t run over them first.

This bird was bowed up with her wings fanned out, so I figured she must have eggs on the ground. I pulled off the road and stopped beside her nest which was really nothing other than a pile of rocks. Her eggs were huddled up in those rocks. I guess she thought they were camouflaged and looked like rocks. Not really. I drove on up to the barn and when I came back she was still there.

For the next couple of weeks I found myself looking for reasons to go over to the barn. I also have some bees nearby and that was another excuse for more frequent trips I suppose. But I was really just curious about this little momma bird and her eggs. I didn’t see how they would ever survive. It was a ready meal for a snake or a skunk and I figured she could not fight them all off 24-7. But, to my surprise she hung in there. I thought those eggs might survive and hatch. Perhaps God had ordained we should have some more not too bright little “Kill-dees” who would grow up to lay eggs in the middle of the road.

I went over there yesterday on foot and there she was standing guard. But the eggs were gone. Maybe they hatched. Maybe not. She was running around in circles but moved away as I got closer. I saw no signs that the eggs had hatched or had ever been there for that matter. I reckoned that some other creature had finally caught her napping or briefly away from the eggs. The eggs were gone and Mother Bird was totally lost and confused by the tragic turn of events.

I usually don’t get sentimental about wildlife. It’s eat or be eaten and the strong and smart survive. Kill-dee eggs are just another link in the food-chain. But, I had taken an interest in this little bird and her eggs. I genuinely felt sorry for her. I went back later before sundown and she was still there, trying to find her eggs or waiting for whatever took them to bring them back. I wonder how long she will fret over those lost eggs. At what point will she forget or just give up and move on. Or will she remain lost and confused hopping around in circles.

I suppose this little mother bird could represent many things in our world. Some of them are too controversial and divisive. So I will not even go there other than to predict that we humans are likely to remain lost and confused, hopping around in circles….and laying our eggs in the middle of the road until our time is up.

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