Not so long ago as I walked up from the waterfront back towards my home I spied a small bird in the grass on the verge of the footpath. It wasn’t a canary, but the yellow on its chest certainly was, as they say in the interior decorating world, canary yellow. It was an attractive little thing with a moss green back, a white throat, black head and bib and that bright yellow chest and belly.
I slowly edged closer for a better look and was surprised it didn’t fly off. In fact it seemed almost tame, so that I wondered if someone had lost a pet, but on further observation I decided something was not right, it seemed a bit shaky and uncoordinated. Perhaps it had a broken wing? If I left it there it would be prey to passing cats and dogs, and while such things are inevitable in nature, being red in tooth and claw, I couldn’t just walk by and let it happen.
So I took my scarf (the morning’s still were chilly at that time) in both hands and slowly brought the scarf closer to the bird, which sat, seemingly calm, until I had gathered it up in my hands, and I carried it home cradled against my chest. Twice on the 15 min walk home it gave a half-hearted protesting wiggle and peck, but the rest of the time stayed still, and allowed me to stroke its head and look into its little eye as it snuggled in the scarf, and I felt that protective and nurturing feeling that small, cute bodies engender in the female psyche, talking to it as one does to a young child.