I was lying comfortably in bed, on the cusp of sleep, my tummy warm, my thoughts turning to nonsense, when I was disturbed by the most unholy roar coming from the kitchen.
My friend was staying for the week but, as is my way, I had retired to bed much before her. It was bright out and she was in the kitchen typing. It was such an ungodly roar that I wondered whether to dress before running to the rescue, or if more urgent attention was required. Startled, I threw on my dressing gown and tumbled into the kitchen, sorry to leave my dreamworld.
I found her in the corner shaking.
In the other corner, was a bird. A crow, I think. Black, and medium-sized. His wing had been caught in the kitchen door and he was stuck. The bird was quiet. He didn’t squawk or flap his free wing, but this in itself was worrying. He looked pained. And my friend carried a similar expression.
Now, I really don’t like to be disturbed from my sleep. A bad night’s sleep is a guaranteed bad head the following day, but there are times when you have to make exceptions, and if you had seen the pitiful look on my friend’s face as she cowered in the corner, you too would have risen.
My friend was too scared to open the door in case the bird flew into the kitchen. I was a little less concerned by this prospect; I grew up in a household where a disproportionate amount of our time was spent armed with tea towels attempting to shoo flustered birds through the kitchen door and out the skylight windows. You would be forgiven for mistaking our kitchen for a bird sanctuary run by my harried dad. Drawing from my many years of experience, I decided that flying into the kitchen was still a better outcome for the bird than having a wing caught in the kitchen door.
It was a big creature causing my friend distress. And the big creature was in distress and this was even more distressing
Last time my friend stayed, she let out a similar squeal upon finding a moth in the bedroom (she’s not a fan of most non-human creatures). I turned off the bedroom light (it was dark out this time; we had stayed up late), and the moth fell to the floor. I scooped him up in newspaper and placed him out the window. He flew off. We brushed our teeth and went to bed.
But this time we were in the kitchen and it was a big creature causing my friend distress. And the big creature was in distress and this was even more distressing.
I hugged my friend and set about the business of the bird.
It wasn’t so hard. I opened the door to the balcony and the bird flew to a nearby perch. He seemed troubled by the previous event, and stayed a while on the perch to recover. “Is he okay?” my friend fretted. “He’s fine,” I said, “I think he just got a fright. He needs a little rest. Why don’t you sit down?” She went to find some chocolate and we searched online if there was anything the bird might like to eat. Apples. But I don’t eat them. So, we just let him rest.
I inspected the bird for blood from a distance and found none. There were no obvious injuries. We waited a while and observed him. He stayed on the perch and caught his breath. The sky was turning from pink to blue. Eventually, the bird began to slowly lift his wings before propelling himself suddenly into flight. He continued at great speed past Croke Park stadium and over a row of little red brick houses until he was no longer in sight. His wing appeared to be in working order.
My friend was relieved and I was relieved and I could go back to bed and back to my dreaming.
The next day, I woke up and my friend was still asleep. I went into the kitchen and it was quiet. The sun had risen and it was a clear day. There were a few birds twittering outside.
I checked the balcony, where the bird sat the night before; there was no sign of damage. I checked the couch, where my friend sat, the night before; there was no sign of damage.
The bird had had his rest, my friend had had her chocolate, I had had my sleep and we were all okay.
Sometimes, that’s the case.