I spent the day working on CD art for my son's Bluegrass CD that he is putting out. He plays the banjo, mandolin, guitar, harmonica, you name it, actually, and he can pick it up and play it! Anyway, he's putting out a CD of ten original songs, and one of them is about the magpie that lived with us for the summer of 2010. Did I ever mention Mr. Bird? I don't think so, and it's quite the story, so pull up a chair and I'll tell you all about it!
In late April of 2010, our son Lukas called from college (Washington State University in Pullman, WA), and he said he'd just found a baby magpie that had been blown out of a nest in a bad windstorm. There was only one baby bird alive, so he took it home and warmed it up. After doing some research online, he found out it was probably a week old, and that something to feed it was wetted puppy food for protein. He fed it that by hand, as well as water through a dropper, and somehow kept it alive. A week later school was out for the year, so he came home in his truck with a squawking baby bird poking it's head out of a shoebox wanting to be fed! He had to stop every hour or so and feed it. It was really loud, and we weren't sure that saving it's life was such a good idea afterall! Like kids, baby birds grow quick, and within a month he looked full grown! It was warm then, so Lukas started taking him outside. It didn't seem right to have a wild bird in a cage on the porch, so even though there aren't magpies in southwest Washington, he opened the door and hoped he'd stick around. Sure enough, he did, and he liked following us around and peeking in the windows at us.
He slept at night in one of my hanging flower baskets! Lukas worked for the county on the road crew during the summer, and left at 5:30 a.m. One morning at 6:00 a.m., I was awoken by someone saying "Mr. Bird" (what he'd come to be known by....even though we had no way of knowing whether "he" was a he or a she!) The voice sounded just like Lukas, and I looked at the clock and thought he was late to work. Then I realized the voice was coming from the roof!!!! Yep, Mr. Bird learned to talk! (Imitate, really!) By the end of summer, he said "Mr. Bird", "I love you", "come here", and "what??!!!"....all with a lot of expression, and Lukas' voice! Even better, he had such a personality! He loved to steal anything shiney, and then we'd spy on him and he'd fly off and hide it for later! He peeked in on us in the shower, and loved to try to talk to the chickens! He fancied himself a farmer, and flew around and tried to "help" when the kids were hauling hay in the field!
I had a small American flag in a flower pot on the porch, and he liked to pluck out the flag and fly around with it! He was such a patriotic little guy! :)
Lukas went back to school and Mr. Bird missed him terribly! He came home 10 days later though, for Labor Day weekend. When he was packing to go back to college, Mr. Bird flew around his truck, tried to get in, and wouldn't let Lukas out of his site! It was only a few days later, he disappeared. We were pretty sad, and still hope to this day that he's just away on an extended vacation! It was really a wonderful summer....our summer of "Mr. Bird"!
Anyway, Lukas' album is called "Tame the River" (his title track), and we took pictures of the Washougal River in the snow last weekend. I thought it would be fun to superimpose Mr. Bird into the picture, since there is a song about him on the CD too! Inside, with the song titles is a photo of Lukas playing the banjo with Mr. Bird on his shoulder. He loved Lukas' music!
It's funny how animals can warm your heart, break your heart, and a memory of them can put a smile on your face! I think I need to go hug a cat!