Small creatures

Fate threw my next blog topic right in my path...literally. I sometimes wonder if, in fact, fate throws more injured creatures in my path than into those of others. Is it just that I notice hurt birds that everyone else would just walk by? Or are there more hurt birds in my vicinity?

Anyway, today's story is a sad one, and possibly a scary one. I was walking home from work when I saw a strange package, like a black plastic bag with something in it, blowing in the wind. Actually, first what I saw was a young woman standing looking at something. As I approach she began to walk away (deciding the package was now my problem? or ashamed to have cared?). I stopped to look; it was, in fact, a crow with one non-functional wing. It was on its back, spinning, skidding, and bobbing along, every once in a while managing to get up on its feet and then falling again. As I looked, the woman who'd started to walk away came back, and I left her with the crow as I went home to get the car in case the vet would take it. I'd called the vet and the person who answered the phone had to find out from someone else what to do, so she said she'd call me back. She did, with various other numbers to call.

My immediate assumption was that it had been hit by a car; I still think this is probably what happened. However, CROW + SICK/HURT in Illinois these days, it seems, means one thing and one thing only to people in the animal care business.


Now, I don't know how the various animal care institutions to which the vet referred me would have handled the situation. They were all closed -- it being 5pm. So I called "Animal Care and Control." Did you know you can reach them by dialing 311? Well, you can, in Chicago anyway.

I knew that calling Animal Control probably meant the end of the road for the poor creature that had trained its dark eye on me pleadingly (or so I imagined). I don't think I had much of a choice. Someone would have called them if I hadn't; and I wasn't about to bring the thing home (even taking all precautions, it would not have been a good idea, with three cats in the house). I'd walked home by that point, and as soon as I called I got in the car and drove back to where I'd found the crow. An Animal Control van WAS THERE ALREADY. I don't know if someone else called, or if my call brought them out in less than a minute. Either way, they really worry about this whole West Nile Virus thing. It's not just the disease itself--it's the PR, too. The guy was really nice; he said they'd test it out but that they had to put it out of its misery. It was "too strong" to have been hit by a car--there was no blood. (Couldn't it have been a glancing blow? But what do I know?) And there was another bird, dead, across the street. Any time there are multiple dead birds in an area they have to put them down, he said. (Don't suppose there's any poisonous fertilizer in use around there for all the nice landscaping?)

Or maybe it really was infected with West Nile, which would explain my sore throat...just kidding (well, not kidding, but I've had it since yesterday). But it would be worrisome.

What I want to know is, why me? Why all the sick and injured birds in MY path?


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