An Emptied Nest

Below this nest, on the grass, were two tiny birds with eyes that had never opened, featherless, fresh from the egg, dead.  We had watched this nest for weeks, I had held Noah up to see the robin sitting on the eggs.  And now the babies are gone, and the parents have flown, and they will start again with a new clutch of eggs later in the season.

Who knows what happened?  My guess is the wind shook the branches too hard, and the nest tipped.  If it had been a cat it would have carried away the babies, but maybe there were more, and it did.

I don’t know what to make of all the death in life.  The more I garden the more I am aware of death, and how much it is a part of our lives, even if we choose not to see it.  Noah came in to the kitchen today when I was taking the meat off a chicken carcass and said “Oh, I don’t want to eat that!  Poor chicken.”  I told him he didn’t have to, and he doesn’t.  But I will make sure he understands (later) if he wants to be a vegetarian that eating plants does not absolve us of causing death, because animals die under the plow, too.  How much can we handle seeing the death in our every day lives?  I would prefer to see less, I know.  There is too much in the headlines already, and I’d rather not understand how close it is to the people I love, simply because all that lives can die.

But back to those baby birds.  I don’t know what point their lives had.  Maybe none, beyond the biological imperative to pass on genes.  I do hope, though, that in whatever time they had out of the egg, that it was good.

1 Comment

  1. Okay, I thought it was the gardening I was excited to read about, but after reading the piece on the death of baby birds, I realize I am in the presence of a new Henry Mitchell.
    Praise be to the universe.


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