Tuesday, November 3, 2009

All Things Bright and Beautiful

The outdoor bird cage which my husband built is open on the bottom. Its legs sink into the ground and you can lift it and move it around

A few weeks ago I posted about a baby bird my son had rescued in the street. (You can read about this here) We were all caring for it and it slept in the cat-travel cage. However, last week, I noticed that the little thing was losing it's joie de vie. It looked listless and although it always opened it's beak for the syringe of porridge, it hadn't uttered a sound for days.

I voiced my concern to my husband who offered to build a cage so that it could live outdoors during the day. We reckoned that if it could spend time in the sun on the lawn, it would thrive. He proceeded to make the cage and every day I'd pop into the garage to check up on the progress.

We positioned the cage in a sunny yet wind-sheltered part of my garden

Eventually the cage was ready and together with granddaughter (who with her three-year-old brother spent most of day in the garage asking: "Is the cage ready yet, Granddad?") we placed the bird inside the cage. It had a secure lock and because it was open at the bottom (the legs sink into the lawn), it could be moved around the garden.

However, that evening when I closed the bird up in it's indoor cage for the night, I noticed it kept wobbling onto its side. Propping it up in an old dish towel, and covering the entire cage with a baby blanket, I said a silent prayer for its survival.

Alas, next morning when I checked up, the bird was dead. I left it in the cage and it wasn't long before Granddaughter came into the kitchen where my husband and I were quietly discussing this sad event. She was holding the stiff little body in her hands and with tears rolling down her face, she said, "It didn't survive, Gran" I gave her a hug and asked if she'd like to bury it in the garden. When she nodded, I looked at my husband who said, "Come along then and we'll bury the bird in Gran's garden"

It was as if the dogs knew what the sad occassion was. They quietly approached the spot where my husband and granddaughter were preparing the grave for the little bird

I went through to my bedroom to watch the sad proceedings through the window. I could hear my husband's deep voice telling our granddaughter that her bird is with Jesus and much better off there.

In the photo above, is Angie telling Eddy to have respect and sit quietly?

Granddad buries the bird while granddaugher and the dogs look on

After my husband buried the bird, they said a prayer together and he promised our granddaugter that he'd make a small wooden cross for the grave.

As he stood up, I saw the little girl hug his leg and lean her head against it. I didn't want to intrude on this sad moment by taken a photo.

A few minutes later I heard them in the kitchen. My husband was making his favourite little girl a cup of tea and offering her a rusk. I'm know these kind actions helped for her to come to terms with the death of a creature we'd had in our home and hearts for the past three weeks.
For other worlds, click here


  1. Such sad, but lovely post, Jo! All of us who are animal lovers have felt this kind of sadness at the loss of life -- whether it be a family pet or a little bird. How beautiful for you and your husband to show the gentleness and caring. Those are the things our children/grandchildren will remember and what helps to shape their own values.


  2. What a touching post, Jo. I'm so sorry the little bird didn't make it.

  3. What a sad story. You made a beautiful coverage of the funeral.


  4. Thanks Sylvia, that's exactly how we felt. Empathise with the little girl, and that stands her in good stead later on in life.

    Hi Sunny;) yes, it was sad. I've heard that 60% of birds don't "make it" in the wild, especially the young ones. Thanks for your comment.

    Hallo Jossie: thanks for visiting and our kind comment.

  5. Sylvia has said it well... so sorry about this loss, but I think your granddaughter has learnt some valuable about compassion and love.

  6. This is such a touching post. Your husband is very talented in creating a nice big cage. I'm sorry the little bird died, but it was nice to see the sensitivity and tenderness you and your husband showed to your granddaughter as you had a proper burial for the little bird.

  7. Thanks ladyfi;) you're so right. The little heart was quite broken and we tried to help ease the hurt.

    Hi Pat;) SO good to see you again! That is a beautiful cage, not so. We have quite a few bird casualties in the summer so perhaps gd will be blessed and another baby bird will come to stay for a while! Thanks for popping in. (((Hugs)))

  8. What a soft heart your sweet granddaughtere has. It's sad to have to learn about death. I'm sure the caring that you and your husband showed for one of God's small creatures will stay with her for life.

  9. got me teary eyed reading this post. On the other hand, your granddaughter learned a good lesson about life. It's really beautiful to see that as grandparents you've shown them the empathy, gentleness and caring attitude for other creatures. I love the captures and the post:)

    By the way, My world is here.

  10. Sorry to hear the bird didn't make it. Yet this was a good experience and lesson for your grandaughter.

  11. i know how she feels. i had few pets of my own which have died. (most because of old age) but the ones who died suddenly of course were the most heart-breaking.

  12. Oh, what a sad and beautiful post. Tabita is still dealing with the concept of death, as well as her father's electrical shock on the roof. Once when he was about to go out to do something with a wire, she told him: "Dad. I don't want you to touch the roof, ok?"
    Your husband is so sweet, building the cage and all. Will you be able to use it for anything else?

  13. A sad but lovely post, a gentle way to learn of life and death and how close they can be sometimes.
    Now you will have to get another little bird for your new cage.

  14. Jo, such a poignant post and lovely photos. Thank you for sharing.
    Smiles and blessings
    P.S. I haven't had rusks for probably 50 years...amazing!


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo