Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Mask of Zorro - Part I

We had ventured outside to replenish the food pantry, although in reality, we had enough food to last months.  Our excuse was that I was missing the essential chocolate and hubby needed to get his laptop checked as he had broken the speaker system. How did he do that you may ask?  If you saw the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding you may remember the scene where the young woman gets nervous and proceeds to walk away from her computer with her headset connected and still on her head.  Hubby did not pull the laptop off the desk during his quick retreat, but it seemed that he destroyed the plug-in port and needed to get a USB replacement.  (He is the most expensive computer user I know!) Anyway, I digress...terribly.

We went to the big box store where we could save hundreds of dollars by spending hundreds of dollars and managed in a short time to fill the shopping cart with big boxes of stuff.  Paper towels, pasta, chocolate, coffee...you know...the essentials of life.

The winter winds continued their bitter stomping through our neck of the woods and they shoved us across the parking lot like tough bullies.  Loading the car took careful speed as our fingers froze and frozen wind whipped down our necks and pulled bags from our grip.

It was on our drive home as we turned into our wooded neighborhood that we saw this wounded, or what appeared to be wounded, cedar waxwing.  He was hopping ever so slowly across the road.  He would hop once or twice and then seemed to catch his breath thinking about whether he had energy to hop again.  As we approached he stopped hopping and just sat there in the middle of the road maybe hoping his suffering would finally come to an end under the wheels of our car.  Hubby looked at me and I looked at him.  Finally I said that we needed to see if we could help. (My loyal readers will remember another encounter we had with an unexpected woods visitor here or the time we failed to help a lovely owl with an owwie which I posted on my other blog here.  I am a BIG softie for animals.)

"You get him." hubby said with decisive speed as he rubbed his hands between his legs and sat back against his seat stoically indicating he was definitely going to remain in the warmth of the car.

I opened the door and moved slowly to the front of the car expecting this fragile gift of life to fly into the sky leaving me cold and startled.  But the small bird  continued to just sit there and then surprised me by hopping across the road and with some effort toward my feet!  He stopped and actually looked up at me!  Honest!

I bent down to lift him and was very surprised that he did not struggle in anyway.  He just snuggled into the warmth of my leather gloved hands like he had come home to mama.  I returned to the car and realized that I had no hands to open the door.  Hubby had to lean across the seat and open the door.  I am thankful to have exercised recently and maintained my sense of strength and balance as stepping up into a large SUV while holding your hands out in front of you in a prayer and getting into those high seats requires considerable strength and balance.

Cedar waxwings up close are the most divinely colored birds.  They are gray and brown and yellow and even a little peach and look as though they were wrapped in the softest velvet.  They wear a dark velvet mask across their sparkling black eyes, intriguing Zorros of the bird world.  (They also are very messy if you read my post on my other blog a while back.)

This little waxwing peaked his eye through the space between my thumb and forefinger, but made no effort to push his tiny head through the opening.  He just watched my face as we headed home and made no sound.

We have a fragile bamboo bird cage that has never held a bird.  It was purchased in Indonesia or Panama...I cannot remember from which roadside stand so long ago.  It was lovelier with the natural bamboo, but I was in my cottage phase of life and painted it white and hung it covered in silk flowers in my sun room decades ago.  The cage now sits in the basement with dusty abandon.  Hubby got this cage into the garage and we released the bird inside.  I took him into the house and filled a small bowl with water.  Since we have well water, I did not have to worry about the chlorine.  Zorro proceeded to poop three times (they are from the Bombycilla family) and then jumped feet first into the small water bowl and drank heartily.

I sighed as these were good signs.  

I could study him now and saw that one of his wings looked slightly askew and showed the blood red wax tip on one of his secondaries that is the reason they got their name.

I knew that they don't eat bird seed but placed a little on the floor of the cage, just in case.  I also put in several small pieces of fresh date and dried cranberry.  Hubby went outside to find juniper berries, without success, and by the time he returned it was dark and I had place the bird on the floor of the laundry room and put a beach towel over the cage so that he would not die of stress or fear.  It is late in the evening and I have not heard a peep out of him.   If he lives, I will call the rescue office tomorrow.


  1. Good luck with your new baby.
    Hope he/she makes it.
    I ventured out yesterday also.
    So good to have people smile at me.
    Stopped at our best local place in town and had "hamburger with onion rings". It was exceptional. Also bought several frozen lobster tails. Maybe that will help my craving for fresh seafood. Probably not!!!

  2. Oh, I hope he makes it too. I'm sure he appreciates being out of the bitter cold wind. He's a pretty thing. Please do update us on his recovery.

  3. Oh thank you for looking out for this precious little beauty. I sure hope it makes it. Clearly it recognized you as a friend. You two are good people.. but I already knew that.

  4. I envisioned the whole story as I was reading it; you all stuggling with the groceries in the parking lot in the cold, the SUV, the gentle care of the bird...nice story. I hope it survives.
    Nice photo too.

  5. I can just see you balancing as you get into the car with this little guy. I hope he makes it! He drank some water which is a good sign. Do you have any frozen blueberries?

  6. He is so pretty and I love that he hopped toward you. He knows a savior when he sees one!!

  7. Just popped over from Hilary's to read your post and congratulate you for being recognized in her Post Of The Week.

    I am also a bird rescuer (and turtle mover, should you read her POTW selection) and cannot help but feel a kinship with anyone who has a heart for our little feathered and all animal friends. Thank you so much for your tender loving care. I hope the little guy took advantage of your generosities and pulled through. I hope Zorro - Part II has a happy ending.

    Believe it or not, I rescued a Great Horned Owl once that got knocked out of his nest during a violent thunderstorm and came to rest on the double yellow line of a very busy street. I brought him home, fed him raw sirloin and kept him for a week before turning him over to a bird sanctuary so they could rehabilitate him. He was huge and grand and although his beak and talons could have torn me to shreds, he was grateful for my assistance and actually let me hand feed him. It was an amazing experience.

    Congratulations again. I truly enjoyed your post and will be pulling for the little guy.

  8. I am so glad you rescued him. He is beautiful!! I just popped over from Hilary's blog and I am glad that I did! What a wonderful visit I had! I too am pulling for this little one. Best of luck!

  9. They say that people who are kind to animals are kinder than they seem to be. Because if they can't harm those helpless creatures, it follows they won't even think of hurting a person.

    I also hope he'll make it. :)

  10. Bless you! I adore people who take the time to help

    I love the way you write, the imagery is wonderful - I could feel the wind and see the parking lot

    congrats on POTW

  11. Tabor, every week Hilary puts up the "Post of the Week" and every week I read them. They are always well written, and I always enjoy them, but this is the first today that made me feel hopeful. Don't mistake me, that others are lovely posts too, but this one involved my heart very easily. Now I'm going to have to look for Part II, because you've made it very easy to care about Zorro. Thank you for helping him, and thank you for sharing the story.

  12. Congrats on POTW mention from Hilary

  13. I don't know how I missed this yesterday but now I am most eager to know the rest of the story. You are indeed a Good Samaratin.

  14. Just looking for a way to thank you for the tip you left on TGB about using the mouse scroll to enlarge the screen. Great!

  15. Lucky bird to get rescued by someone so knowledgeable. He is beautiful ... or would that be she? Interesting post.

  16. What a wonderful adventure. Yes, we will all wait on the updates tomorrow. I too hope he lives.

    RYN: Thank you so much for your very kind words about my smile.

  17. What a gorgeous bird! And how trusting...I wonder if the little beauty had had contact with humans before?
    Congrats on POTW and good luck!


Take your time...take a deep breath...then hit me with your best shot.