On Monday morning, our groomer arrived at the kennel as she does every day, with a smile, sometimes an egg biscuit, and always an enthusiasm for life that is contagious. However, on this day, she was somewhat subdued. I didn’t understand why until she put her case down and pulled something out from underneath her sweatshirt.
She handed me a tiny blue bundle, and asked me to keep it warm for her. Tucked inside of a fleecy slipper sock was a beautiful little blue parakeet. Pennie told me that it was her mother’s bird, and that it had been fine earlier in the morning, but she found it laying in the floor of its cage as she prepared to get ready for work. Pennie’s mom is bedridden and lives with Pennie and her family. The little bird, Blue, was her mom’s companion in her bedroom where she spends her days and nights.
I took the tiny bundle, and stroked Blue’s little head, talking gently to him, while Pennie prepared some kind of concoction to feed him through a syringe. She also took one of our large feeding bowls and placed some bird seed in it. When she attempted to feed Blue through the syringe, there was no response from the little bird, and it dribbled down its chest and onto the sock.
Pennie and I decided to take Blue out of the sock and place him in the dish with the food. We made a small nest out of the sock, and placed Blue in it. He moved a little and flapped his little wings a time or two, and then was still. I touched him to feel that he was still warm and breathing, said a quick prayer to the angel of little birds, and we gently placed him on a corner of Pennie’s grooming table.
The next hour was busy for me, as I checked in dogs for grooming and for boarding. As soon as it quieted down in the office, I slipped into the grooming room to check on Blue. When I touched him, I knew he was gone. Pennie was bathing a dog, and asked me about Blue. I told her that he had died, and she came over to touch him, to confirm what I had told her. As I looked at this tiny, fragile creature, I thought about Pennie’s mom, and how this little guy had brought her joy and happiness as she enjoyed his company. I wondered if Pennie would get another bird to replace Blue.
I also pondered on the fragility of all life. Like little Blue, we are all here on earth for a moment, we touch the hearts and lives of others, we flap our wings hoping to fly, and we chirp our songs of thankfulness to our creator. A tear meandered its way down my cheek as I touched Blue one more time and said good-bye. Pennie told me that she would take him home and bury him in her yard when she finished her day at the kennel.
I can still feel the small bundle that Pennie placed in my hand on Monday morning, asking me to keep it warm. I can still hear my words of encouragement to the tiniest of God’s creatures, as I whispered to Blue and stroked his little head.
I believe that Blue is somewhere out in God’s Heaven joyfully flying and singing a happy song.