The newborn in the photograph is in quite the predicament; falling from its nest but clinging to life. Its only hope rests in mama or papa discovering it before it falls, or it dies in the sun. It’s beaten death once. Its only chance at continuing to survive at this moment though, is its grasp on the old, stringy piece of bark, which is likely just hanging there itself, waiting to fall.
It’s avoided death, but it’s still facing death. If mama or papa can’t rescue it soon, it will die, without a doubt.
This is nature we’re looking at here, and nature and the things that naturally happen to wildlife in nature, is, at times, brutal. In this case however, the baby, for whatever reason, got a reprieve, and although the reprieve may be short-lived, the fact that it got one, beats the odds.
This reminds me of a time when I was a child of seven or eight, and happened upon a grotesque scene; the scene was quite “Flaubert-like.”
It was my farm friend and playmate, a kid named Randall that everyone called Randy, and his dad was a farm co-owner. Lenny, (his dad), was also one of a number of drivers who delivered milk and other dairy products to customers via existing daily delivery routes.
One day, I looked for Randy, to see what he wanted to do. I entered the small barn where heifers, cows that were dry, and calves and their mothers were kept; it was also where farm animals were shot. Randy was in there, over in a corner where a big barrel was, and he was hitting something with a rock.
Approaching him, I was shocked, seeing that he had five baby birds he’d apparently gotten from a nest; he was using the rock to crush their heads. Randy wasn’t someone I feared at all, but I didn’t know what to say to him. I do remember asking him why he was killing the little baby birds, but I also remember that he seemed to be enjoying it; the whole scene seemed crazy.
In Gustave Flaubert’s “The Legend of Saint Julian the Hospitalier,” Julian, as a child, did something similar. Almost fainted. From the pleasure of killing a pigeon.
That’s how Randy was; like he was enjoying killing those innocent, defenseless baby birds so much he couldn’t help himself. I wouldn’t kill anything; I felt it was wrong to kill something just to kill. When I got interested in hunting, I’d only hunt one animal. That happened to be wild turkey… not an easy “hunt.” A real challenge.
We moved when I was fourteen. In the years after, I didn’t see Randy at all, as I worked at a steel mill for a short time after high school, and then enlisted in the army. Got out and got married. Then, out of nowhere, I heard Randy killed himself. Damn.
He just walked into a lake until he disappeared, and never resurfaced.
Living Right? © free-reign 2020
18, 19, 4, 31, 8, 14, 23, 28, 26, 22, 25, 13, 26, 21, 27, 16, 29, 17, 2, 7, 20, 15, 11, 10, 3, 6, 30, 5, 9, 1, 12
This is my entry to The 31 Sentence Contest Round 22 by @tristancarax. It is a contest based on creating a story with 31 sentences exactly in order, and each sentence has a set number of words to be written. For more information on joining the challenge see this post:
Thanks for reading!
Sources for images used in this post:
(Public Domain photos are from Wikimedia Commons)