Baby bird

February 23, 2008 at 12:49 am | Posted in GuaGua adventures, The journey within | 1 Comment

Last night Mr Gua Gua found a baby bird. He was outside watering the plants when he kept hearing this tiny chirping noises. He looked down and there it was, lying pathetically in a puddle of water in the drain at the corridor. This tiny little thing, no bigger than 2 inches, totally pink and “naked”, without any feathers – it was an (almost?) newborn baby bird.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when i saw it and asked Mr Gua Gua if it could be a mouse instead, since it was so small and pinkish, and mice chirp too right? But there was the unmistakable beak that opened wide in its cries for help. My first thought was to get it warm. It was another windy night and it must be freezing cold lying in that water. I have a huge resistance towards touching such creatures (including creepy crawlies, dead creatures, anything that doesn’t have fur 0r feathers) so it was up to Mr Gua Gua to rescue it.

He had simply no clue. “Tweezers?” Geez no! I went to the kitchen to see what we could use, and in the end settled for paper towels. They turned out to be completely useless in picking up the bird, but at least Mr Gua Gua used it to soak the water dry. I got more paper towels and Mr Gua Gua finally managed to pick it up and put it in a little cardboard box.

I dared to take a good look at it as it was lying on the paper towels in the box. Then i could see that its eyes were not even opened yet, it was so tiny. Its wings were just 2 bones sticking out from its body. It was lying on its back and its legs kept kicking into the air. As Mr Gua Gua went to the computer to research on what we could do for the baby bird, i put my hand above it and gave it reiki, while chanting Medicine Buddha’s name. Its kicking slowed down and i hoped that my hand plus the reiki gave it some warmth and comfort.

Mr Gua Gua came into the kitchen telling me it needed glucose water for quick energy. We did have glucose powder and a dropper so i got down to feeding it. The dropper hole was a little too big, and each drop of water practically covered its tiny head though i tried my best to drip the glucose water only into the mouth. After 3 or 4 drops, it closed its beak. I gently nudged its beak with the dropper and it refused to open. Mr Gua Gua who was still doing surfing the net for info asked if it was eating. I told him i felt like i was force feeding the baby bird (this reminds me of little boy!) and Mr Gua Gua said i had to. A part of me felt this didn’t seem right, but i was also afraid that the bird would starve to death otherwise, so i continued dripping the glucose water into the bird’s beak everytime it opened, which it did from time to time. The area surrounding the bird became wet soon, and i tried my best to gently roll the bird over to a drier spot.

Minutes later, Mr Gua Gua came into the kitchen telling me that we shouldn’t have given liquids to the bird and another website said, berries. We didn’t have berries in the kitchen, though we did have raisins. But raisins? Even if we were to give it a tiny piece, the bird would prob choke! I was getting infuriated with Mr Gua Gua’s net advice that changed within moments, and decided to do my own research. It turned out that we really shouldn’t have fed the baby bird liquids – what we could have given was mashed hard boiled yolk mixed with sugar water.

Well, on hindsight, after all that net surfing, i realised we did a lot of things we shldn’t have done. Glucose water was one – and we shldn’t even be feeding the bird at all as it was already nighttime and birds aren’t sup to eat at night. Rolling the bird was another – I wouldn’t have done that to a newborn baby. And then I was talking in my normal pretty loud volume to Mr Gua Gua right in front of the bird which prob added to its stress. And the paper towels were also prob too hard and uncomfortable for the bird – i discovered later that it’s better to make a little nest of tissue paper which would help to support its body and legs better. Well, after reading this, i did get some tissue and tried to roll the bird on it, and it did look more comfortable, as its neck and legs seemed well supported by the creases and folds of the tissue paper. Unfortunately, during our next check a few minutes later, it was back on its back somehow, and its neck was in a really bad position that i wldn’t want a newborn baby to be in. I tried my best to get it back on its side position. After that, i read that peeking on the bird adds to its stress and shld be minimized, so i didn’t peek at it anymore and don’t know how it fared after that, in terms of lying position. I figured that it’s prob better to just let it sleep, instead of moving it around and disturbing it.

At the very least, we did provide it with warmth by putting a cup of hot water in the box and placing a towel over the box to keep the heat in. I guess that’s one thing we did right. And the reiki as well… i hope that helped too.

Mr Gua Gua was really worried about the bird and kept surfing the net for more info. He also called up SPCA to find out what we/they could do. Turned out, the man said if the bird were to be brought there, it would prob be put down, and just as they were talking, he had already sent out instructions to come and pick up the bird. Mr Gua Gua, in his usual diplomatic way, told him we preferred to try our best to take care of the bird ourselves, since putting down was killing. Well, that was that. I wasn’t surprised to hear this from SPCA, as i already knew they have this practice of putting animals to sleep, since there isn’t enough resources to care for sick and weak animals which require a lot of attention. However this is something i can’t condone, and i told Mr Gua Gua we would just have to do our best, since we prob have more time and resources than they do, especially when it was my day off the next day, and I prob could manage the every half hour feeding that was required for the baby bird.

For the rest of the night, we didn’t check on the bird and assumed that it was sleeping. Mr Gua Gua was worried about whether it would survive and i was trying to be optimistic, telling him that it couldn’t be a coincidence that Mr Gua Gua would decide to water the plants a 2nd time and hence found the bird. The universe or someone up there wanted us to rescue the bird, so the bird must be a survivor and would live on. I felt so confident saying this and felt it must be true.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t. I woke up in the morning and my first thought was to prepare food for the baby bird. However, Mr Gua Gua came from little boy’s room, where we left the box, distraught and in tears. He told me the bird was dead and being attacked by ants. I didn’t want to look at the bird – just knowing the above was more than enough. It was sad to hear that but i was no where as emotional as Mr Gua Gua, who was really really upset abt not being able to save the bird. He brought the bird to give it a burial. In the meantime, i did EFT for him (didn’t tell him abt this) and he came up looking pretty much back to his normal self, which of cos could be partly due to the carthartic effect of the burial and the chanting he did for the baby bird.

I also EFTed myself for the guilt i felt about doing all the wrong things we did last night. It was a lesson for me about compassion without wisdom and skilful means. I felt like i somehow caused the bird’s death. Perhaps if i hadn’t given the glucose water, or moved the bird so much. Or if i had prepared a softer bed for it, or was quieter around it. Perhaps perhaps perhaps…

But the EFT and my own rational mind told me that there are probably other factors that led to the bird’s death. For one, who knows how long it had been lying there in the water. The other thing was, it was a windy night and it must have been blown out of its nest, and onto the corridor floor which must have been a painful fall. Who knows if it was even injured by the fall? And it was also so tiny… i shld have realised that its chances of surviving weren’t high at all. But who would have known?

Mr Gua Gua and i consoled each other with the fact that if the bird had to die, at least it was given some warmth and love before it died, and had prayers done for it right before its death as well as after. We each did our own chanting separately and dedicated the merits of our chanting to the baby bird. May it obtain a better rebirth where it could receive Buddha’s teachings and be led towards liberation.

For me, this was also a lesson about death and grief. I had only a couple of personal encounters with death in my life -my grandmother and 2 schoolmates who drowned in a camping trip that i went for. Months back, my cousin also had a miscarriage few days before the delivery date. I cried when i heard the news – we were all looking forward to welcoming the baby. And being a mother, this news felt even closer to my heart.

If even this short encounter with a baby bird could leave me with this sadness and guilt, i don’t know what it could be like for her, and i don’t think i could ever imagine. And now i would be able to appreciate, more than just on an intellectual level, that grief is not something to be taken lightly. The complexity of emotion is too great, for others to expect the person to “just move on”. Yes, the person has to move on, but in her own time and space, and not for other people’s sake. And even as she moves on, the road ahead would surely be a rocky one.

This is not a subject that i can write much about. It’s too sensitive, and i dare say my own fears about losing of loved ones keep me from dvelving more deeply into this subject. The only sentence that keeps returning to my mind now is what i just read in Louise Hay’s book today – 

Death is only a change of form.

May my cousin remain strong in her journey with her grief, and may all those who encounter death in their lives, remember or learn that the divinity in us is eternal, transcending form and time, and that we will all meet again some day.



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  1. Nice blog here! Also your site loads up fast! What web host are you using?
    Can I get your affiliate link to your host? I wish my website
    loaded up as quickly as yours lol

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