Friday, August 23, 2013

Character Building


Did you see very tired eyes above?  Then pure relief and elation?
Well, that's what it is. 
This little budgie, Samson...  We dedicate a large portion of our day to his safety.  We also spend copious amounts of time enjoying his silliness and growth.  I've been told he's about 6 months old and is going through his first molt.  So we have been enjoying seeing his head turning white and his necklace spots coming in. 
Imagine how absolutely devastating it was to see him fly out our back door.
Oh, how mistakes happen so quickly and easily.  And the pain involved, the sheer pain of not being able to go back and NOT make the mistake.  Ugh.
Young Man had Sam out of his cage.  All other animals were safely tucked away elsewhere.  I took the trash out.  Yep, the major mistake right there.  I opened a door and went outside knowing that Young Man and Sam were in another room.
But then I had to open the door to come back inside.  And in that split second, Sweet P. was in the doorway crying about something and that moment of hesitation was all it took for a sweet little blue birdy to fly up into my face and subsequently over my head.  It was awful.
My heart broke because I love Sam, because I knew he was gone, because I worried about his safety, but more importantly, my heart broke for Young Man. 
We followed him instantly and talked and talked and talked to him.  We used all of his 'words' and do you know what?  Young Man spotted him in a tree in front of our house.  We have a lot of birds around the Hearth Room, but that little parrot song is unmistakable.  Once we heard him, Young Man spotted him. 
We immediately took his cage outside to the patio, opened it, put out favorite foods and cried, cried, cried, (keeping my own tears a secret of course). 
After probably an hour, we watched Sam fly down the road to the other end of our neighbor's pasture where he stopped to perch in a big tree by the road.  This was definitely getting worse. 
I snuck to the computer to do some quick Parakeet Research, only to find that these little guys are nomadic and don't have much in the way of homing instincts.  If the wings aren't clipped, (which we were advised against due to the fact that we have other pets in the house), then they will continue to fly and can be miles away in a matter of minutes.  The protective mother in me decided to keep this information to myself and pray. 
I told Young Man the old saying about, "If you love something, set it free...".  I also told him that everything belongs to God.  Even if that little budgie lives with us, he's not just our bird.  Oh, what life lessons came from this extremely sad day.  So we continued to pray for Sam's safety and for him to be brought back to us. 
Young Man walked down the road with sprigs of millet and talked to Sam.  We listened to him sing and chirp for the entire afternoon.  We sat outside for the entire evening listening and watching for him.  We figured our only hope was for him to come back to his cage at bedtime.  He really likes bedtime.  But he didn't come.  It was a rough night to say the least. 

When Hubby came out to make coffee in the morning, he checked the cage on the patio and told me there was no budgie.  So as he got ready for work, I grabbed my coffee and came outside to listen.  The most amazing sound came from just above my head!  It was that sweet little parakeet voice! 
I ran to wake Young Man with the words, "I don't want to get your hopes up, but I'm pretty certain I just heard him.  Come listen!"
Sure enough, it was Sam.  He had returned to the tree that he looks out at each day from our classroom window.  When he saw us he cried out his very happy song and we horrifyingly watched him fly around our house and yard.  But he came back and perched 20 feet above us.  We were so very thankful to see that little blue puff!  So happy to hear his song!  He was hungry and was eyeing his cage in a big way. 
So we prayed and poured out food.  We tempted him with millet and used all the happy words he knows.  We rang his bell and tapped on his cage.  He dropped down to perch on the lowest branch of the tree, just above Young Man's head.  He was really looking us over and considering our breakfast options.  And then he finally dropped down onto his cage.  Young Man told him to 'step up' and he did.  We stuffed him quickly inside his cage and were so amazed and thankful!

That little budgie couldn't decide if he was more tired or hungry, but he was safe and  home.  We were exhausted and relieved.  We were so extremely thankful.  Thankful for safe birdy returns and thankful for small miracles.  Young Man grew up just a bit extra that day.  He learned so much more from that painful experience than I ever could have taught him with words. 
I still can't believe it.  And I don't know if what I read during my 'Parakeet Research" was accurate or not.  But I do know it's a real joy for us to get to see Sam's necklace spots growing in and his pin feathers opening.  We've made some new house rules for Sam's safety and it's really good to see Young Man being very responsible and extremely cautious.  We continue to be diligent everyday, but there's also a new appreciation that goes along with it. 
I think we just had a huge lesson in Character Building.  We both learned a lot. 
For that, I'm thankful. 

(And I hesitate just a moment before opening any doors). 


  1. Oh goodness! I sat on the edge of my seat reading that! I'm so glad it all worked out for the good. You kept such a good, positive outlook on the situation. So glad Sam is safe at home. Character lessons are sometimes the hardest learned.
    Blessings :-)

    1. Thank you! Yes, it kept us on edge too! We are still Really Careful! xo

  2. Wow, what a great post. Thank you for sharing that - a life lesson for everyone, I think. So glad the outcome was positive.

    1. Thank you so much! We can't help but still reflect on that day and how it felt. xo


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