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Birds send son’s imagination into flight


“If you put your brain in a bird, the bird would fly backwards!”

My mother said this to our family dog — often — when I was a kid. Let’s just say the dog made some questionable decisions.

Lately, I have found myself repeating this Linda-ism to our four-legged family member who also makes some questionable doggy-decisions.

But our 7-year-old son only hears me say “bird.”

“Mom! Is that true? Would the bird fly backwards?”

Our 9-year-old son: He likes Legos and pro wrestling.

Our 3-year-old daughter: She likes baby dolls and princesses.

But, our middle child was born to be an ornithologist.

His evening reading selections include the “Birds of Ohio Field Guide and Birds: A Guide to the Most Familiar American Birds.”

My son loves birds of all kinds, but he has a special attraction to morning doves. It’s the most-read page in his bird book.

“Mom! Only three more pages and I will be on the morning dove page again!”

He can pick them out of any bird lineup, and he nearly burst when he found a nest with morning dove babies peeking their heads out.

Every spring he scopes out our yard and trees and every nook and cranny on our house, and his grandparents’ house, looking for bird nests.

When our son is MIA, we check the nearest tree.

A bonus that comes with living beside a creek is the backyard bird menagerie.

In addition to robins, morning doves and whatever else our son has identified, we also have ducks, geese and even a blue heron that comes to visit on occasion.

Toward the end of the school year, our older son came in the door after school one day without his brother.

“Where is he?” I asked

“Outside. There is a dead baby bird in the driveway. He thinks he can save it,” my son replied.

Sure enough, my son was crouched in the driveway. “I think I saw his eyes open,” he said with hope.

It was obvious the little bird had already taken flight to Bird Heaven.

My heartbroken son buried the baby bird and fretted for the rest of the evening that he had buried it alive.

So he did what any little boy would do: unburied it just to be sure it really was dead.

Our dog has a thing for birds, too (perhaps the reason for the dead baby bird?). He has smacked head-first into the sliding glass doors countless times trying to run one down.

So, if we put our dog’s brain in a bird will it really fly backwards? I wouldn’t be surprised.

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