The Rose and the Birds

Chapter 1

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  Rose had become so attached to this bird that she cried every time she tried to explain what happened to Miss Birds to anyone. I don’t consider my self a tough guy but having a background of being a motorcycle mechanic, racing motorcycles professionally on stockcar tracks all over the south, two years in the infantry in Germany and ten years as an auto mechanic, I didn’t consider myself “light duty” but I too felt an attachment to this little bird. And felt a loss when she was gone.

  A few months later Rose found an ad in the back of a magazine for an incubator and a dozen quail eggs from a farm in S.C.  So we ordered one. It was inexpensive, and made of Styrofoam. The whole family got involved in this and on the day the eggs were supposed to hatch we were all excited when one started to hatch. We talked about this and we all would have been happy if we could get even one to hatch.

  It was not cold in the living room, even on the floor where we kept the incubator, but it must have felt cold to the first little bird to hatch. We were all startled when out of the egg came a fully feathered miniature quail who immediately  took off running as fast as greased lightning. The kids were hollering and trying to catch the tinny bird and Rose was hollering at the kids not to step on the little bugger.

  Rose was in her bare feet and the kids missed several attempts to grab the bird and to the surprise and delight of everyone, the little bird ran up to Rose’s foot and leaned against her foot. It was obvious that it was trying to get warm. Rose picked it up and it settled down in her warm hands.

  I guess if you are in an egg in a warm incubator and all of a sudden are out and still wet, you can feel chilled. Rose wrapped the little bird in a rag and put it in a cardboard box.

No sooner did she get it wrapped up when two more started to hatch. We were somewhat ready for these and we scooped them up as fast as they got out. However, before we could get these two wrapped up six more started to hatch and believe me, even if you are ready and there were four of us on ready. It was pandemonium with six little birds the size of bugs that were all fast as lightening, running all over the carpet.

  Rose was able to catch one by cupping her hand down over the bird. But then we got a surprise when Rose opened a small opening to see the little bird.

Another bird running helter skelter, ran over and into the small opening in Rose’s hand. Rose quickly wrapped the two up and the kids put their hands down on the floor and other birds ran into their cupped hands.

  We now had nine birds hatched of the original dozen in the incubator. However, we had only caught eight of the nine. We all tried to catch this one straggler but it was fast and afraid of us and ran from us no matter what we did. Under a chair then run like lightening over under the couch. We finally captured it and put it in with the others. This one was slightly different in color with a red tint. We soon named her “Red”. She was the “Wild One” of the group.  

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