Sam is all grown up. He left the nest last week. It was a horrible way to enter the world, though. I came home from work, and walked up to his nest to say hi. He wasn't home though, and I noticed something fluttering near my feet. I looked down, and low and behold, there was Sam--with feathers--hopping around on the ground. Turns out he is a Mockingbird. He looked like a miniature version of a full-sized Mockingbird. His whole body was slightly smaller than an adult bird and his wings were shorter, but he had all of the colorings of a Mockingbird, including the white stripes on his wings. And all of his parts seemed slightly rounded, like a child.
Well, when he saw me, he hopped over the curb and into the street. I tried to get him to turn around by standing in his path, but he went around me farther into the street. So I followed him because he was now closer to the far curb, and tried to get him to head that way. Well, he kept hopping and fluttering across the street but made a slight right turn and kept going straight toward a storm drain--a Texas storm drain--a huge gaping drain that cats and small children can easily slip down, and he was just a tiny bird. Well, he decided to head right over to that drain, and stood precariously on the edge of it, his head inches from the top of the drain. He looked around curiously, and after thirty seconds or so...jumped. He jumped right into the drain. I looked into the drain and saw him immediately realize this was not a good idea. Meanwhile, his mother is watching the whole thing from a branch high above us and screaming bloody murder at her baby. I swear she was yelling, " SAM!! Sam! What are you DOING!? You get your lazy, troublemaking butt out of that drain THIS INSTANT, or I will tell your father...And you know what happens when you get in trouble with your father!"
So I decided to help get him out. But I wasn't sure how so first I went up to my apartment and called my mother who suggested calling Animal Control. In Dallas that's 311 so I called. They were very sympathetic and didn't think I was a crazy lunatic for wanting to get a baby bird out of a storm drain, but she said Animal Control didn't get baby birds out of storm drains...I needed the fire department...The FIRE DEPARTMENT!! I instantly had visions of Baby Jessica stuck in that well with hundreds of people standing around watching the firemen rescue her...Only this time, it would be Baby Sam...And I would be the Crazy Lady who summoned 3 three fire trucks and two ambulances for a fledgling bird...But I couldn't let Sam stay down there, so I summoned the courage to be called the Crazy Lady and dialed 911. They too, sympathized and were about to send a fire truck to rescue Sam (can you imagine how many tax dollars that is???) when he asked my address. I told him and when he realized it was an apartment complex he asked if I had talked to the management first. No, I hadn't. Well, he said they couldn't come on private property without management's consent for this so I should call the office first. Ok, so now I had to call the office and tell them I was Crazy Lady and could they help...Well, again, amazingly, they were sympathic and they paged a maintenance man. He called me back and--you guessed it--sympathized too!! So he came out and he and one of my neighbors and I spent the next 30 minutes rescuing Sam. Finally, after opening the manhole cover we were able to get him out. I was ready to jump down the manhole myself and help him out but that turned out to be unnecessary. So once he was out, his mom started yelling at him again, I believe something to the effect of, " Sam, you are in SO much trouble right now! You got yourself in a position where those HUMANS had to help you! How could you!? You know we stay away from the Humans! Get you butt back in that nest and don't say another word. You are grounded!" But then Sam, stunned, started hopping under a car. We diverted him and he started heading toward the fence that separates our complex from the next complex. My neighbor and I tried to get him to come back but to no avail. Eventually, he hopped down onto a bush on the next property and we could no longer get him back to his home.
But the next morning I heard him chirping and saw his mother on the same bush he ended up on the previous evening. So it seems he spent the night there. I haven't seen him since, but at the rate he was growing I think he is fully grown and flying now. A teenage Mockingbird testing out his wings.
I enjoyed it while it lasted, Sam. Thanks for the memories!!