As I sat playing my guitar this afternoon, there was a commotion in the garden. Dynamo was yelling and shouting. I thought he was getting mad at his little sister and I was all ready to go and tell him to calm down. Moments later he came in, tears rolling down his face, cradling a tiny bird in his hands. Annie had apparently thought the poor thing was a great thing to chase and had managed to catch it in her huge, cavernous mouth. The yelling and shouting had been Dynamo persuading her to drop it.
The bird, a pardalote, had an injured wing, but still seemed full of life. It screeched at me when I took it from Dynamo and popped it into a shoebox. We left it there for a while, but then it started jumping around, obviously eager to fly away. So we locked Annie in the house and took it down to the trees by the creek. We removed the lid. Up went the bird, straight towards a branch. Then plunk, down it came into the long grass.
We scooped it up again and put it back into the shoebox. I put the box on top of a cupboard and went to find a birdcage, so that it could at least move about while it recuperated. I put in lots of leafy branches where it could hide, complete with ‘lerps’(scaly insects that live on gum leaves), which a search of the internet told me they love to eat. Then we put the shoebox into the cage and removed the lid.
The finger hole in the side of the shoebox, used by the shop assistants to pull the boxes from the shelf, was apparently big enough for the tiny thing to get through. So Houdini Pardalote had escaped and was somewhere in the house.
Much searching later, Dynamo found him hiding behind a storage box in a corner. Once again, we picked him up. Now he’s in the cage. Or at least he was - but he’s hiding really well, so I’m not absolutely sure he hasn’t squeezed his way out. Hopefully by tomorrow his wing will have healed enough for him to fly away. If not, we’ll all be going lerp-hunting.