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I saw the depth of my son's love for animals yesterday. I got a glimpse of his caring heart, his sensitivity, and his sadness when Mommy wouldn't help a poor, possibly hurt bird.
As we continued up the stairs, my son asked me why the bird was just sitting there. I answered honestly, that it was probably hurt. This answer, though honest, was harsh to my little boy. His face fell and he wanted to know why we couldn't help it. In my head, I was thinking, "Because it is just a bird." I told him that we would likely have to pay a hefty vet bill if we should seek help for the little bird, and it would likely die anyway. At that, Alex became very quiet.
Now, if I had been thinking properly, I could have called the local Wildlife Rescue organization and they may have come out to collect the bird. However, it wasn't my home, the owners were obviously home (though they did not answer their door to buy popcorn-- the turds!), and I didn't want to hang around any longer than necessary. Nor did I want to call a wildlife group to their doorstep to collect a bird. However, as Alex lamented the possible death of the bird throughout the rest of the day, I realized I made the wrong decision.
This could have been an opportunity to teach a special kind of kindness to my son, but I let it pass by. What if it had been a dog or a cat, instead of a bird? Would I have helped it then? Yes, more than likely. But, I still think that one must exercise caution when handling unfamiliar animals. The last thing I want to do is bring a disease into my home, either by the actual animal or it's germs. I don't want to put my children in danger for the life of a bird.
What would you have done? Would you have made the phone call? Would you have collected the animal and taken it home to try to save it? Or, would you have attempted to turn it into a failed lesson about the cycle of life? That all things must pass away? What are your thoughts on the matter?