It is often said that the most important thing we can give our children is roots to grow and wings to fly. Nature teaches us this lesson everyday. Born under our deck are three baby birds getting ready to leave the nest. They have their game faces on. They are quiet and stoic as they wait patiently for just the right time to make their solo flight. They have grown plump over the past few weeks and now barely fit in the nest. Mama bird scolds me when I get too close or turn on the outdoor silcock to fill up the watering can. The heat from the sun is oppressive this time of year, but she was smart and picked the perfect home under the deck. Every year she returns, ( I like to believe it is really her!) back to her summer cottage to start a new family.
However, in the midst of this idyllic place lurks danger. Her nest lies in the middle of the dog enclosure. These are not just any dogs but RETRIEVERS! Dogs trained on pheasant wings & bumpers. The first time one of my male goldens caught a mourning dove mid-flight, my jaw dropped. What precision!
I am torn between admiration for my dog’s instinct and empathy for a mother’s devotion.
So here the story ends. In my dreams, I see them spread their wings and fly free but I know I cannot control the future. Some things are better left to chance.