Future Tense

Crow in tree

So much for the peaceful garden I wrote about in my last post. Today all-out war is being waged there. It’s nesting season, and everyone with young seems to be duking it out to protect them.

At least three crows are trying to steal from the many nests in the trees: squirrels, two families of mockingbirds, hummingbirds, sparrows, and blackbirds. The squirrels alerted everyone to the danger by their peculiar barking and waving of their tails–a sure sign that something is amiss.

Meanwhile, the mockingbirds–brave souls that they are–are diving and pecking at the crows. The other bird species are generally creating distractions. A baby blackbird sits on a wire during all this commotion. Whenever any bird alights, the baby does its little routine of flapping its wings and crying out with a wide open mouth. Apparently, it thinks any bird, not just its parents, should feed it!

Enter my cat, who is quite eager to catch any victim of the fray if it gets close to the ground. I’m sure everyone REALLY appreciates this feline opportunism!

I want to help the animals under attack, but I remind myself that the crows are only trying to feed their young too. Who am I to judge? Crows are bigger and they bully the others, but they are intelligent and want their offspring to live just like everyone else.

I step back and admire the beauty of the moment, as terrible as it may be for the weak ones. All this bravery so that the next generation will live!

If only we humans could be as courageous, and mount such valiant efforts to save our planet for future generations of humans, squirrels, mockingbirds, and yes, even crows.


3 thoughts on “Future Tense

  1. Evening Vicki!

    Wonderful post my dear friend….wonderful!

    And SOOOOOOOOOO true!

    It reminded me about an experience I had, very similar to this one, which like you, gave me some valuable insight!

    During early winter of this past year I was sitting in my favorite park, feeding my “squirrel buddies” just like any other Sunday afternoon.

    However on this particular Sunday, the sparrows decided to get in on the “eats”.

    I noticed that a “momma squirrel” was very hungry (obviously because she was still nursing her young), and I could tell she was getting very agitated by this one little sparrow, because it was grabbing all the peanuts from her.

    Well…such as you said….all HELL broke loose.

    She grabbed the sparrow with her hands and placed it in her mouth. Then proceeded to carry it 5 feet from me, where she literally “destroyed” with her hands and mouth. All the other sparrows were trying to help their little friend, flying around and screaming. This all happened within 2 seconds time. It was horrible! I listened to that little sparrow scream at the top of it’s lungs…until it died.

    My mouth hung open as every cell in my body just FROZE!

    I had NEVER in my life seen anything like this. It was like watching some National Geographic Documentary – happen right before my eyes!

    And the most amazing thing, was that after she killed it….she casually and happily, scurried back over to me, stood on her hine legs, and then lifted her hands up to her chest as if to say, “Ok….that’s taken care of….now lets continue”!

    Vicki…I was speechless and numb.

    So I just continued to feed her until the peanuts ran out.

    I thought to myself, “How could my perfect and precious squirrels, who I adore and worship…DO such a HORRIBLE thing????

    And then my “inner voice” said as clear as it could be, “Don’t allow this to shock you…THEY like YOU are a part of this earth…and they TOO have survival instincts. And this is a common “trait” among ALL those who live on the Earth. Just as humans, act like humans….so too does the animal kingdom. They have fears, angers, resentments and power struggles”.

    And yet Vicki…I will always feel deep within my heart…that animals are much more “conciously discerning” about survival…. than us humans.

    Like you….I see it as courageous….not just an “I’m bigger than you, so I’ll show you attitude”.

    They choose their battles wisely!

    Later… I got the guts to walk over to the sparrow, just to look at it. And when I saw it….I was shocked….there was absolutely not ONE single drop of blood shed. Which lead be to believe….that she killed it with “conciousness”!

    Thank you Vicki…. for ALWAYS having something to FEEL and LEARN through your writtings.

    Bless you!

    Be well,

  2. What a rich story, Ron!

    I’ve never before seen a squirrel kill anything. What an incredible thing to have seen it with your own eyes. I can well imagine you sitting there, mouth gaping in horror!

    I wonder if she really meant to kill the bird? I’ve seen squirrels pick things up in their mouths, including a mother who moved her entire litter (around 6 babies) from one tree to another. So perhaps your squirrel was just trying to move the bird away from the peanuts, and it was more delicate than she had figured on.

    OK, so I’m bending over a bit too backwards in favor of the squirrel!

    I am so happy that you are such a keen observer of nature! It gives me hope for the world, and for Philadelphia!

    Thank you, as ever, friend.


  3. Pingback: Tenacity Has a Furry Tale « Animal Tales

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