A blue jay died in my yard yesterday.
Well, I think so.
I walked up to the house and saw this blue jay standing under a bush a few feet away. I stopped and expected it to fly off, but it didn’t.
As I slowly walked past, I noticed it had its eyes closed.
Perhaps it was asleep, so I moved softly.
On the way back, it still stood still as I passed giving it enough space if panicked, but there was no fear, only stillness.
I looked around and the rest of the yard seemed normal. The usual feeding frenzy of small brown and grey creatures followed by squawking blue and red and brown variety of feathered friends.
Perhaps it was sick. Perhaps it was the Grackles. Perhaps it had been injured with all the activity in the yard. Perhaps it was just old age.
I had put out enough food and water for all to share and consume, but this one bird was on my mind. From previous experience I knew there was nothing I could do.
The day went on, but I wonder about this big blue bird that had decided to rest in Puppywoods.
I try to create an environment for all the critters to be well fed and feel safe.
I watched at the others continued in their activities. They gave the Jay space but went on with their own affairs.
Recently, a preacher friend of mine talked about giving funeral services of strangers. Trying to describe the final resting of someone you don’t know, hit a chord.
These guys who I talk to everyday as if they could understand me come and go through the yard with wild abandon like children running through a park with no supervision. They take from the abundance without a single “Thank You” but learn to return the next day at the same time.
And yet here was a beautiful blue bird, standing proudly in its last moments of life. It had decided this was a good spot to end the journey.
I locked up Mansland and proceeded slowly to the house when I noticed the blue jay had lain down. Completely still on the ground with no indications of injuries, I seemed calm.
I stopped for a moment to take in what may be its last breath, and then decided to move inside and let its body rest through the night. Tomorrow I will make it a bed under Puppywoods.
The next morning I was awoken by the squawks of blue jays. The yard was awake.
Knowing my duty, I went outside to find the body was gone.
Perhaps it had been sleeping and flew off. Perhaps the night creatures had done the funeral arrangements.
Not a feather or any sigh or struggle existed. Instead the critters embarked on their daily ventures.
Now most people are saying, “ It’s just a bird.”
These are my friends who I talk to everyday. They are my company. They are my entertainment. They are the Puppywood’s family.
So today, there was an extra treat of sunflower seeds and a family of five blue jays arrived singing sweet songs.