We live in the mountains, and we routinely see wildlife outside of our house. However, the other day while I was reading to my 6-year-old, my 2-year-old announced, “Mama, Bird in house.” That got my attention.
Now, I would like to say this was the first time a bird has come into our house, but it’s not (though it is the first time at this house). We actually had two different birds come down our chimney and into our old house when we were living in town (after the second one, my Sweetie installed a screen over the top of the chimney and didn’t have any others). That little aside to say, I’ve had some practice with bird catching, and that is the only reason this adventure went so smoothly. The lesson I learned from my past experiences: Towels are the best bird catching tool (Douglas Adams would be proud).
So when my 2-year-old announced the bird’s indoor presence, I calmly put down the book and set about my preparations. I sent my 6-year old to make sure all of our exterior doors and screens were wide open. I walked down the hall and made sure that all of our interior doors were shut tight. The bird started out in the kitchen; I wanted to keep her within as small a portion of the house as possible.
While the bird continue to fly frantically about the kitchen and dining room, I went to the linen closet and pulled out a very light-weight dish towel.
The bird was really frenzied by this point, but in spite of open exterior doors in both the kitchen and dining rooms, she couldn’t seem to find her way outside. Instead, just as I was starting to turn off all of the interior lights (hoping the brighter daylight outside might draw the bird to an open door), the bird made a frantic flight down the hall.
At the end of our hall is a large mirror mounted on an even larger wall. The poor, frantic bird flew straight into the mirror. It fell to the ground, a bit stunned, though it was still moving, and preparing to get up again.
I grabbed my camera, and walked down the hall. I snapped a quick photo (definitely not the best shot, but I didn’t want to take the time to set up a great shot or to snap more than picture) and then gently dropped the unfolded light towel over the bird.
I gently wrapped the towel completely around the bird, essentially creating a little pouch round it. I then picked up the bird, which felt as light as air, and I carried it outside, calling my boys to come with me.
I set the towel, with the bird still wrapped inside it, softly on the grass of our hillside. Then I carefully opened the towel and the bird immediately flew away.
“Bye, Bird! Bye, Bird!” yelled my 2-year-old. My 6-year-old questioned, “Mama, do you think that bird will come and visit our house again, now that it knows we’re friendly people who won’t hurt it?” And I breathed a sigh of relief that we quickly and easily returned the bird to the outdoors without it being injured.
Every day is an adventure. I love that homeschooling allows my boys and me to experience so many of our adventures together.