Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Ash Wings

Skritch skrath skritch skratch. The sound was startling and unpleasant. My first thought, making it all to clear I've never fully recovered from our summers at Havelock, was that it was a squirrel inside the house, frantically trying to get out. But, upon closer examination, it occurred to me that it might be an animal stuck in the stove pipe. Sure enough, once it gave up the struggle to climb back up the way it came, a little black bird plopped down into the ash-filled stove.

Aidan was the first to donn the beat-up leather work gloves. But it became very clear that I was better suited to the task. While his strategy involved a large cardboard box combined with impossible speed and a lot of luck, I figured it did not have to be so complicated. I decided to put on the gloves, gently slip my arm in and scoop the bird into my hand. Done!

The boys just loved this little episode from start to finish. Well, ok, not from the alarming skritch-scratchy beginning, but the remainder of it. The release was a thrill. Perversely the long-suppresses wildlife biologist in me longs for another trapped bird. Chances are good I will get my wish, so. . . I decided to give the stove a good cleaning. Next bird with be released with decidedly cleaner wings.