I’ve thought of calling this blog: Walking the Dog because it’s often where I get my inspiration. Our little neighborhood jaunts together are often the closest I come to meditating. I am mostly internally focused but still aware of the seasons, the little changes day-to-day in the trees, the garden, the woods along my walk. Sometimes, Tetley and I have real adventures like the other night when we encountered a neighbor also walking her dog — and what appeared to be, a chicken.
It wasn’t really her chicken – so not for the first, nor last time, we got ‘the box’. The box for water, food, the shirt no one wants and the promise of a night in our breezeway. The more we looked at this little guy, the less we thought it a chicken – or any domestic bird. As it fluffed its wings and strutted about on very talon-like feet, we decided it must be a raptor. Except it was awfully friendly.
It particularly liked hanging out on shoes – although I think if it could have climbed into my lap it would have. We called a 24 hour wildlife hotline and the guy said, put it back. So we carried the little bundle of feathers back across the street to the neighbor’s newly mulched patch of a few yards, set it down and quickly walked away. The thing followed us, practically tripping me as I crossed the street. Street. That’s where we found it. Not the woods. Cat-hunting ground. So of course, we did not leave it.
The next morning, still thinking it was a little falcon baby, (we fed it dry dog food moistened with warm water – it ate it) I brought it out and it picked at the grass. I hoped it might try and fly away back to mommy. I kept my eye on the sky looking for the amazing hawk (or whatever it is) I often see in the trees and circling the sky around here. Only airplanes and robins soared by. Finally, shortly after 9 AM, Wildlife in Crisis, a volunteer run organization in Weston that maintains a “nurture center” called me back and said, “It’s probably a wild turkey.” He dismissed our falcon identification because raptors wouldn’t be walking. And this thing was like a puppy under my feet.
So, it’s there now, with other baby turkeys, a full grown deer laying on a stretcher because of a birth defect that left its feet all mangled. (it was expected to live for only a few weeks and instead, has lived as this strange invalid for years. Ah, the power of love) Also perched around the small room are sea gulls, a spectacular wood duck, teeny cages of hummingbirds. And this was just in the reception area – there are other buildings housing other creatures. I’d actually been there a few years ago with an injured sea gull stuck in the B&N parking lot. Such patients are accepted with little fan-fare by this serious crew of volunteers and donations are encouraged.