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Perspective: Little Bird

Katie Andraski
Little Bird

The barn swallows swooped over the field as if they were telling us where Little Bird was. Dutifully Bruce looked for him, knowing he’d survived the night. I thought about the saying: What is desirable in a man is his kindness. I loved my husband.


Little Bird had been knocked out of his too small nest with three other fledglings. Bruce put them back, but they fell out. The others died but not Little Bird. Usually we let nature take its course, but this time we set him on a low beam in the barn, so the parents could feed him. I prayed for his survival, as I cupped him in my hands, his heart racing.

He huddled there until he got strong enough to jump off. Soon I saw him lift off the ground, the other birds whirling overhead, encouraging him to fly. But he fell back.

Then the swallows were gone. There was a little bird shaped grief in my chest. I think about what a gift it is for parents to knock their children into flight. I think about my father who did not call me home after my mother died even though we were both desperately lonely. He blessed my flight, a blessing, a love, as sacrificial as Mary sending her son to die.

As for Little Bird, Bruce said he saw two adults and a little one sitting on the wire between the shed and the barn.

I’m Katie Andraski and that’s my perspective.

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