I had just finished dinner and was heading back to my room. Not only do I know why I turned around, but I don’t know why I looked up into the tree either. There was this little bird hanging upside down, flapping frantically. Another little bird was next to it, cheeping, but unable to help its friend.
I called to Arrie, to get Rufus to help the poor baby. Next thing I knew, Gemma had arrived on the scene, assessed the situation and leapt into the tree, faster than you could blink. I yelled at her not to, but she took a swipe at the bird, dislodging and catching it. As she was bringing it back down to play with it, Rufus arrived and took it away from her. He went and put it on the wall next to Elize’s front door.
I went to check on him a moment later and saw that he still had cotton tangled around his one leg. Considering the down feathers caught in the cotton, I wonder if it got tangled as he was trying to fly from the nest.
Parking my wheelchair carefully between the plant pots, I leaned forward, could not quite reach him, so used the cotton to catch him again. He was so tiny. My hands are small and my fingers easily wrapped around him, holding him close. He was so small and fragilel. I could feel his tiny heart thumping against my fingers.
I took him to the kitchen where one of the staff helped cut the cotton from his leg. Then we went back to the wall and I tried to release him, but he did not want to leave my hand.
Gemma came along again. Not having seen him, I moved away, bird still clinging to my fingers, until Gemma went back up the tree, searching for her lost prey. Soon as she moved away, I took him back to the corner and forced him to move from my hand on to a pot. He was not safe so long as I was there. Gemma would find him.
Each time I went back to check on him, I had to shut Gemma in my room, to prevent her from following me. He stayed exactly where he was until Elize came home. Not a moment too soon because Chris said he had seen Liquorice on the prowl. The last time I saw this little guy, he was safely bedded down inside a tin lined with toilet paper, probably still in a state of shock. I will only find out later if he survived the night.