Two ladies I work with came to get me at my office and led me into the college lobby with my eyes closed. They were excited with wide smiles on their faces, then turned me around and said, “Open your eyes and look up!” My heart sunk. There he was again, possibly the same Bluebird we set free earlier this week and the one I named Johnny. Why were those ladies smiling? Because I’d be happy to see a bluebird? Of course. But I’m not happy about this at all. There must be a hole in the building, or something. Bluebirds just don’t follow people through a safety door.
A clump of dust balls from the dirty sills attached to his foot and later fell off. There were only a few people around to help me but many people just don’t care. Comments like, "That stupid robin is back again?" made me cringe. A commandant made the mistake of saying to me, “Do you want me to get Sgt. Moore’s 12-gauge? We’ll only need to take out one window with it.” I thought, “Hardy-har-har, you ASS!” He read my face and instantly left the scene of his crime. The Dean, who helped us earlier this week to free a bluebird, was too busy to help today. Our Associate Dean has a bird phobia since childhood, escapes around corners and pretty much stays locked in her office while a bird is nearby.
A lady janitor helped me prop open doors with the live trees I used before. The bluebird was flying very high today and refused to turn down the hallway with lower ceilings. So we waited with our coats draped over our arms in hopes to use them for shooing.
During the afternoon a few of us checked on Johnny from time to time but we weren’t able to help him. An hour before I left, the traffic in and out of the building settled down and I set out a dish of seed and water on a chair next to the open doorway. The security people agreed to watch for him over the weekend and to prop some doors open when possible.
Just before leaving, I was happy to see he had scattered the seed and pooped on the chair. So I moved the chair to the center of the doorway in hopes the quiet of the afternoon and early evening would relax him enough to investigate the food and water again, then fly out before the doors would be closed.
I don’t know how long his little stressed out body can live, flying from one end of the lobby to the other, resting on a windowsill, desperate for freedom. For reasons I don’t understand, this little bird perched closer to me than anyone else. If he should die in that building, I’ll feel horribly responsible for perhaps not trying hard enough.
My heart is breaking over this one little bird.
a return Visit
4 years ago