I MISS YOU BILLY BIGBEAK
Do you ever consider how much of your life changes from one month to the next? Several of my friends keep diaries and this blog is beginning to look like that to me. I re-read the recent blogs I've written and am amazed how much I travel both mentally and emotionally in four short weeks.
Last month, I mentioned I'd not succeeded in coming anywhere in the Thanet Writers competition, then that afternoon I discovered I'd won the Faversham Eye Essay Writing competition!
You could have knocked me down with the proverbial feather. It took me quite a while to come down from the high. Submitting stories was a first for me. It was good to feel some validation that I'm on the right track.
That evening, I rescued Billy BigBeak Blackbird from my cat Halo and after half hourly feeds, then two hourly feeds, I began the long process of encouraging him to fly. Over the next couple of weeks, my hubby dug up earth worms and we spent several worrying days that he'd never learn to feed himself instead of me feeding him catfood from the back of a spoon.
Two and a half weeks later he was fledged and hunting worms in the bottom of his cage. The day I dreaded arrived. I'd come to love Billy. He used to nestle under my chin and sleep in my palm if he was cold. It was hard releasing him. I could have happily kept him as a pet, but he was a wild thing and needed to fly free. He hopped about under the bushes, then flew away and my husband saw him flying back and forth over the fence in the garden, so free and hopefully so happy.
Five hours later, he found him, wings outspread drown in our pond. To say I was heart broken was an understatement. We buried him that night, next to our beloved cat Peewee. A few days later, I purchased a beautiful blackbird statue to put where he lay. I make no apology for all the photos of Billy, a tiny piece of my heart went with him that day.
However, I have since made my pond as bird friendly and safe as possible so no more birds die in it. It has log roll slopes and wooden ladders going in and out of the water and birds gather there to drink, as they did before, in a much safer environment.
I'm also going to introduce Billy BigBeak as a character in my novel Quest for Courage, the third story in the Witch on the Warpath series, so his memory and photo of him will always live on.