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Avis Didn't Make It

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Nurse Baker has a job to do today.
It's almost 3 p.m., and we've seen neither hide nor feather of Avis today. When I last saw her, it was dusk, and it was raining. She was already wet to the skin, but able to fly, and she was flying nervously from tree to tree in the yard, as if looking for a place to get dry. Luther was tucked into the lilac and dry as toast. It poured all night and most of the morning. It would be Avis' first night outside the tent or the pet carrier.
I thought that perhaps she was too wet to fly this morning, so I kept calling and waiting to hear from her. The sun came out, long enough to dry a bird, but Avis never appeared. I searched under all the trees she liked to sit in, but found no traces of her. Luther came in at first light, perfectly dry despite the downpour. Well, one out of two isn't bad, I guess. It hit me that a bird has to be operating at 100% capacity to make it out there. A rainy night shouldn't kill a healthy bird. She was doing so well, but apparently doing well wasn't good enough.
I know these birds well enough to be heartbroken today. Luther has been around all day, albeit ranging farther and higher all the time. Phoebe and I are struggling to accept the loss, and let Avis go. Some birds make it, and some don't.


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