The Rose and the Birds

Chapter 1

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  As the bird grew it was obvious it was a female due to the color. A male (bob white) has white strips down it’s back. We fabricated a cage that Rose was able to take out in the grass and set down. This enabled the bird to catch her own bugs and Rose would keep moving the cage so as to get a new patch of grass for her to catch her own dinner.

  Even though we had the cage, the bird pretty much had the run of the house. Since you can’t get a bird to ware a diaper there were Quail droppings on the floor at times so we all learned to watch where we stepped. Not that you seen any most of the time because Rose kept a roll of toilet paper handy and seemed to know when the bird was about to leave a deposit. Quail droppings are not very messy to start with unless you happened to step on one.

  They are very easy to spot even though they are not very large. This is due to the color and they are always the same. About the size of a “BB” at first and as the bird grew, a pea and colored brown with a bright white spot. This made them show up clearly no matter what color the floor was.

The bird was now a family member and thus needed a name other than “Bird”.  The bird had up to now been referred to as “Bird” so much that Rose decided on “Miss Birds” as her official name. Now in the evening when we would sit down to watch TV, Miss Birds would jump/fly up on to Roses’ lap and turn to face the TV and go to sleep.

  It was natural for us to want to pet Miss Birds when we held her but we soon found out that birds do not like to be petted. A little gentle scratching around the neck seems to be liked but not petting. A bird spends a good portion of each day fixing and caring for their feathers and if you pet her, she quickly must fix (preen) each feather you touch. Quail gather oil from a gland on the lower back on their beak and carefully straighten and coat each feather with this oil from this gland.

We started to notice that “Miss Birds” took to some people while disliking others. Some times when a stranger would come in, Miss Birds would run hid under the couch and always hide from that person.

However, other people she would not run hide at all and even allowed them to pick her up. We were not able to figure out what it was about some people that made Miss Birds like or dislike them. We thought maybe the smell of a cat or dog on them but that didn’t apply to most.

  One day Rose decided to go to the mailbox carrying Miss Birds in her hands close to her body. Miss Birds had been outside many times, but always in her cage and always in the back yard and field beyond. Rose noted that she was afraid so she held Miss Birds close to her. She thought it might be the wind because it was windy and she was in a new area. When Rose got to the mail box she let go with one hand and just held Miss Birds to her with one hand. This startled Miss Birds and she struggled loose and Rose dropped the mail and tried to hold the bird but it was too late. Miss Birds flew across the street and we don’t know if it was the wind or lack of experience Miss Birds had flying, but she hit the wall of a house and fell to the ground. Rose ran over toward her but a neighbor’s dog was closer and ran and grabbed Miss Birds up and seeing Rose coming turned and ran. Rose didn’t chase the dog because she could see that Miss Birds was already dead.  

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