FEATHERED FIDELITY- Michael Smith

It’s a sad reality. All relationships start with love and promise, but all too often We see them weaken, crumble and finally fail. It’s too bad all relationships don’t go to the birds. I know that sounds strange, but read on. Many years ago, when I was just a young boy, a small yellow bird Hit our front door. When I looked outside, I saw its tiny, unmoving Body on our deck. I opened the door to see if it was just stunned, Or worse, dead. I was kneeling over it when my mom joined me. “Michael, I think it may be dead. I heard the bang on the Glass. It hit pretty hard.” “Mom, should we bury it?” “I’m not sure, Michael. When I first looked out I saw another Bird land beside it. It looked like it was trying to pick this one Up. I think we should let nature take care of this. Let’s put it on The roof of the car and see what happens.” We placed the unmoving, little bird on the roof of my dad’s car And went back into the house. From our living room window we watched as the bird’s mate flew To its side, carefully grip the back of the dead bird’s neck in it’s Tiny beak, and with a strength only love and devotion could provide, Lifted its mate in the air. It carried the body from the car, across the street, over the Meadow on the other side and into nearby trees. It flew only a few Feet off the ground. Sometimes it would get up to six feet high and Then the weight of its companion would pull it lower again. Its Struggle was great, but the desire not to be parted from its mate was Greater. Thirty-five years later, I stepped out of my home on a warm Summer morning. I looked toward my next door neighbor’s — we lived In attached townhouses — and noticed a single strand of a spider’s Web strung from the bush by the corner of their townhouse to the Wheel of one of their cars. I thought it was strange for a spider to Spin such a web, especially just one tiny strand. I moved closer to investigate. When I reached down to break the Web I discovered it wasn’t a web at all. It was a piece of fishing Line. I gave it a tug and saw it was tangled in the bushes, and the Other end was knotted under the car. One of the boys was sitting on the front deck of the house. I remarked, “Looks like someone booby-trapped your friend’s car.” He came closer to see what I was talking about. I gave the line A tug. It was tightly jammed under the wheel of the vehicle. “Strange, it seems to go all the way under,” I said. I walked to the back of the car and saw a robin. It fluttered To get away, but the line, which was wrapped around its tiny leg, Held it firm. The poor bird flapped around on the pavement with only A foot of line for it to move. Slowly I approached and reached to grab it. When my fingers First touched his feathers it squawked and flapped away from me. I Moved faster on the second attempt and managed to get a grip around His trembling body. It squirmed and twisted its head to snap at me, But I held tight. The boy came closer for a look, and then went for a knife. When He returned I realized he would probably break the poor bird’s leg When the knife pulled the string tight before cutting it through, so I sent him for scissors. He came back and we carefully removed the String. The bird was free, but I held him a little longer, so I could Remove one last strand of the line from his tiny leg. It made a Great effort and escaped from my grasp. He flew low across the Pavement, under a row of mailboxes, and up into a tree. It was free again. Then I noticed a second robin fly down from a nearby tree and Land next to the newly-freed robin. It had stayed close by, as its Mate struggled for freedom, and would not have left until freedom or Death ended their relationship. The birds I witnessed mated for life and the struggles that come With it. Now don’t you wish a lot more relationships would go to the Birds? I know I do.

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