Saturday night, my wife, daughter, and I returned from dinner to find a little bird on our front porch. It didn’t fly away as we approached, and we knew something was wrong. When we got closer, we noticed the poor thing was soaking wet and one of its legs stuck straight out from its body, completely useless. We wanted to help, but it didn’t want anything to do with us, hopping away as best it could on its one good leg. We didn’t know what to do. It was 10PM on a Saturday night. We decided to let nature take its course, and went inside, figuring the bird probably would not last the night.
Sunday morning, the bird was not on our porch, and we figured one of the neighborhood cats probably got it. Imagine my surprise later that day when I saw it, squawking away, on a power line fifteen or so feet up. Its leg still stuck straight out, and the poor thing must have been in tremendous pain, but that didn’t stop it from carrying on as best it could. It could still fly, and so life goes on.
It reminded me of this quote: “I never saw a wild thing feel sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.” – David Herbert Lawrence
I found this very moving. If that was me, I’d have curled up on the ground and waited for the ambulance to come and shoot me full of drugs while they took care of me. But not that little bird. What I took from that experience is this: it just isn’t in the nature of animals to give up.
Sometimes we can learn a lot from them.