Saturday, August 3, 2013

And then its head popped off

(This post originally appeared at my father's site The Blog Fodder on July 11, 2013. It was this story that made me realize how much I missed writing and how I really needed to share the strange things that happen to me.)

I often come upon adventure when I take my dog, Monty, for a walk.  You would think we would avoid getting into trouble on one of the three routes we take daily, but more often than not, that isn't the case.  There was the time a pack of dogs left their yard and circled Monty doing nothing to him while he screamed as though being murdered.  There was the time he chased a small car into a snow bank and then looked back to me as though he had caught me a great prize.  He weighs 18 lbs, but he gets me into more trouble than most full grown people I know.

But I digress.  This tale is not about Monty, although he was present, it's about another animal. A bird.

A bird I had to kill.

Monty and I were on our walk, minding our own business (as we do), when a City truck drove by.  I thought nothing of it and carried on my way until the truck slammed on his brakes and swerved to the side.  I turned to look and saw a small bird lay on the road.  The two had obviously collided leaving a clear winner.

A middle aged man stepped out of the truck with panic on his face.  He looked like a 70s hippy throw-back with long silver hair and handlebar mustache.  He warily approached the bird and explained he had tried to avoid her, but the bird had swooped right into his tires. 

She was a small robin with a mottled brown chest and a badly damaged lower half.  She breathed heavily, gasping for air, as she lay dying in front of us.  The city worker's eyes began to mist and a single tear rolled down his cheek as he offered to take her to the Humane Society for help.  I assured him it was too late for that.  She was in her last moments. 

The man was overwrought and stood dumbfounded at the little life ending in front of him.  He looked to me for guidance and I found myself offering to take care of her.  To end her suffering so as to end his.  He agreed to hold Monty's leash (thank God the dog had not decided to be brave and eat the poor bird.  I think that would have been the end of the man altogether.)

I had two waste bags in my pocket for the dog and used them because I'd always been told birds carry disease.  I contemplated the fact I had no idea if this was true, but I wasn't taking the chance.  I draped one bag over her body and one over her head.  I picked her up gently and decided the most humane thing was to break her neck.

Being a city girl, I have never done this before. I assumed it would be simple.

I gently twisted.  And twisted.  And twisted.  The bird's head just kept turning while she just kept living. 

I started to panic. Not only was I not helping to end the bird's suffering, I was just torturing the poor thing.  

I was about to give up when I pulled out instead of twisted.

POP! The head came clear off the bird. 

I quickly put the bags back together so the tormented man wouldn't see the mess I made and ran to the garbage bin a block away to disperse of the corpse I had mutilated.  I returned, assured the man it all went well and was not his fault, and walked as fast as I could away from the dump site.

I immediately messaged my sisters to tell them of the horror.  They assured me I was a hero, despite the decapitation.

Next up, chickens.

21 comments:

  1. oh. my. my feelings were changing sentence by sentence here. amusement, sadness, concern, horror, and finally Respect. you are very brave, i would have run far! i come from an italian family - my people have been wringing chickens necks for hundreds of years. i guess i should ask for a few lessons. just in case!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are things I never thought I would need to know! It's best to learn just in case. I was horrified!

      Delete
  2. Somehow, I suspect your sisters were not surprised that this happen to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not at all. They were equally horrified and amused too.

      Delete
  3. Oh my, what a story! I'm sure you were horrified, but what else can you do!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I only did it because of how sad that poor man was. Otherwise, I likely would have just kept going and let him deal! I am only ever brave out of necessity.

      Delete
  4. Poor sad man, your braver then i :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He was the saddest thing ever. He kept telling me about his chihuahua and how he loved animals. I felt so bad when I then destroyed the bird!!

      Delete
  5. Oh, I laughed out loud at this! It's so sad, but it's also funny in that morbid, are-you-serious? way. You tried to do what you could, Bronwyn! I appreciate your empathy for the little bird.

    I'm not going to tell you about the time that my mom and I had to "euthanize" a chicken who had been mercilessly attacked by its flock-mates on our farm. They "take care" of the weak, so to speak.

    And we tried to do out best. But oh my god... it was a disaster.

    Great writing. Loved the post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, man. It's almost worse when you tried your best and it turns out terribly! Poor chicken.

      I have never felt equal need to laugh and throw up before. Hopefully never again!!

      Delete
  6. You are brave... and smart to follow through with the plastic bags!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the thing about me. I always have a poop bag on hand!

      Delete
  7. Um thanks for sharing... I think. I won't share the story of the bird I had to kill cause some neighbour handed it to me like I was some expert or something on how to kill birds. What the???! Anyway, nuff said. It was horrifying enough just having to do it. UGH.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An expert? Did you take a class? These are skills I need to learn. I'm sorry we are now bonded in the terrible "I killed a bird" club.

      Delete
  8. What an ordeal, you handled it very well though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! It was so gross and I still feel bad that I made it worse than it could have been for that poor bird!! Next time (shudder the thought) it will be better.

      Delete
  9. Worst. Fear. Ever. times a million! made me laugh though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was alternating between laughing and dry heaving. Not my finest moment! But better laugh than hurl!

      Delete
  10. I couldn't imagine what I might do in those circumstances!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you never have to find out!

      Delete

As much as I like to hear myself talk, I like to hear from you too!