Thursday, July 22, 2010


I had stopped by Larry’s house to pick up some equipment he had borrowed and to find out how his camping experiment went. As he was recounting his nightmare of setting up a tent, in the rain, while wondering what unreachable or unpleasant spot on his body the next spasm of monstrous mosquitoes was going to attack, his daughter Carrie walked in.

“Hi, daddy. Hi, Mr. E.” Her usual bright-eyed expression had a hint of secrecy to it. “Wanna meet my new friend? His name’s Mr. Birdington,” she said matter-of-factly. “But you have to be quiet because he’s still sleeping,” she said in a half whisper.

She held out her cupped hands and slowly lifted one of them to reveal a bird resting limply in her hand.

“Oh honey,” Larry said gently to his daughter. “I don’t think Mr. Birdington is just sleeping. I think he may be with Jesus now.”

“Oh no, daddy,” Carrie said. “He’s just sleeping. I met him when I was sitting by Mama’s zinnias. I was talking to him for a while and then I asked him if I could hold him. He didn’t say anything but I knew it was okay. So I picked him up and on the way to show you, he fell asleep. So he’s not with Jesus, he’s just sleeping.”

Larry and I looked at each other, knowing our hearts were melting but not knowing how to break Carrie’s heart with the reality of a dead bird in her hands.

“Here,” she said. “I’ll show you.”

She half-cupped her hand over the bird so that the body was covered but the head was still showing.

“Mr. Birdington,” she said softly. “Mr. Birdington, it’s time to wake up now. I want you to meet my daddy and Mr. E.”

She blew softly on the bird’s face and gently shook her hands.

Larry and I looked at each other and shook our heads. Then we looked back at Carrie and Mr. Birdington, who surprisingly, was slowly opening his eyes. Mr. Birdington blinked a few times, but otherwise sat still, obviously feeling safe and secure in the warmth of Carrie’s hands and heart.

“Wow,” Larry said. “Carrie was right. Mr. Birdington was just sleeping.”

So, how are your first impressions panning out?

1 comment:

  1. Oh My God, Can you at least post a tear alert?
    This story is absolutely one of my favorites.
    And the moral isn't too bad either.
    Love your blog.