Random Thoughts

The Saga of "Sweet Thing"

... Fond Remembrances Of A Blue Jay

Mary MacDougall

One day upon returning home, I discovered a baby bluejay bathing in my Corningware dish on the back walk. My teen-aged daughter immediately informed me that a cat had knocked down a bird's nest and attacked the two baby birds who fell. This was the survivor.

Patricia tacked wire across the open side of a large box and became the surrogate mother. For the first few days the mother bird would fly over and call to the baby who initially would respond but, after three days, she decided Patricia was her mother. She became the baby of the house under Patricia's eye and guidance.

On pleasant afternoons my aunt next door would sit out under the apple tree and rock for a couple of hours with the bird sitting on her foot. Sweet Thing ate nothing but "people food" - a scrambled egg every day for breakfast was standard fare. Her favorite food was spaghetti and meatballs.

When Patricia was home, she had her out of the box frequently. At first I was afraid of droppings but she used her litter pan and we never had a problem. If the telephone rang, she flew to answer. If I spoke to Patricia in a firm voice, Sweet Thing would confront me very verbally.

The end of August arrived, time for Patricia to go back to college. I was away at work all day and did not have time for the pampering she now took for granted.

Patricia took her up to the Audubon Society and they placed her in a cage with another bird who had been domesticated and could never survive in the outside world.

Patricia still occasionally thinks of this bird with nostalgia.

October 1, 1999


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