The Bird and the Boy

I sat at the window of the café eating my salad. On the plaza outside, a boy of about 10 years was running around chasing himself while his dad was checking his phone. Suddenly there was something between a small bam and a large plonk as I saw a tiny baby bird fly into the window right between my eyes. It fell to the ground and lay still. But as I stared sadly, I saw that its body was moving slightly up and down as it breathed. One stick-leg moved slowly back and forth. The boy ran over to the bird with tears in his eyes. He looked over to his dad who came to the bird’s side as well. Boy and dad bent over the bird and watched solemnly. The dad said something, stood up and walked away. The boy wiped his eyes and spied a quarter bagel on the plaza. He ran to it, picked it up and brought it back to the bird. Ever so gently, he lay the bagel piece next to the bird’s beak. Then he stood up and walked slowly over to his dad. As they walked away, I too hoped the bird would find its second wind and peck at the bagel for strength. But I did not want to watch the bird die. I wiped my eyes too and moved away.

In these dark times for our country and for the world, I find great hope in this true story. If a 10 year old boy can feel such kindness toward a bird, there is hope for our species. I cannot imagine that a boy who tears up at a dying baby bird and gives him maybe his last possible peck of food, would grow up to be a terrorist or a racist. Let us hope.

©2017 Margery Leveen Sher

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