Posted 08-12-2004 at 03:32:19
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(Part III…The Reward)
After his abrupt landing, the little cowbird got to his feet, shook himself, and then began to walk around inside that pig pasture like he was trying to fit right in with creatures that weighed hundreds of pounds more than he did. All the while, unbeknownst to him, J-Lo was stalking him; making her way rapidly in his direction, her nose to the ground.
There are few things that I am actually afraid of, but J-Lo is at the top of the list right next to getting stuck in the mud. My happy frame of mind shattered, I started cussing again as I opened the gate to let myself into the pig pasture. I’d come this far in getting this bird back into the air; I figured I might as well go whole hog. I put myself between the bird and J-Lo and began frantically shooing him, trying to get him to fly again like he’d done so admirably in the bathroom minutes before.
After about three trips around the pig pasture, the bird was still running, and not using the wings that God gave him to get him away from not only me, but a predatory sow with an empty spot in her belly.
“Dogs!” I finally yelled out of desperation.
Way back under the oak trees at the back of the pasture I saw two heads pop up. Girl and Sugar the pasture dogs, had heard my call. In the meantime, I took one threatening step in J-Lo’s direction.
“Back up!” I yelled, two words that all the sows are familiar with. They know by now that those two words, not respected, will earn them a swift kick in the jaw. She backed up, but being J-Lo, she still kept coming.
By now the dogs had arrived and being dogs, and not too swift on the uptake, they misunderstood my mission and set about trying to catch the cowbird. It was complete chaos. I was tripping over dogs, dodging J-Lo and cussing fit to embarrass Andrew Dice Clay, all while the cowbird, the root of all the evil, was running in circles trying to escape all of us.
“The pig!” I yelled at the dogs. “Get the pig!” I kicked out at J-Lo for emphasis and Girl caught on and turned on J-Lo, backing her up and distracting her.
If I had been surprised at the lack of intelligence of the cowbird before, nothing could have prepared me for what it did next, and I made up my mind then and there that it was too dumb to live and was officially on it’s own. Running dead out, as fast as it could go, it ran smack into the fence and embedded itself in the goat wire, leaving it in exactly the same shape as it was in when I found it to begin with.
I was too dumb struck by now to even cuss. I just stared slack-jawed as the bird tried to wriggle free. Sugar, who was still intent on catching the bird, zeroed in on it. In one last desperate attempt to inflict a happy ending on this chaotic event, I kicked at Sugar to discourage her, missed, and accidentally planted my foot in the nether regions of the bird, none too subtly freeing it of the fence.
Then, after it gained it’s footing, it miraculously leapt into the air and flew away, leaving me to think that if I’d simply drop-kicked it, instead of tossing it, it might have found it’s wings before the whole pig pasture snafu occurred.
I let out a long shaky breath, and almost laughed. I stood there in the middle of the pasture, drenched in sweat, with two confused dogs winding around my legs and watched J-Lo totter off to find a shady spot, and asked myself if it had all been worth it. I could have left the bird where I’d found it and let nature take its course, and that may be what I should have done. I looked toward the grove, where the sun was just beginning to set, and saw the cowbird catch an air current and soar up and over the grove and disappear, and knew that my efforts had not been in vain, and I'd done the right thing. I had my reward.