Thursday, May 15, 2008
A Golden Opportunity
When I got home with a mattress and box spring from Costco this afternoon, there was something on the sidewalk that I thought at first was a crumpled plastic bag. On closer inspection it turned out to be a bird. On still closer inspection it proved to be a juvenile raven, still in its down, partial wing feathers, and no tail feathers at all. My first impulse was to dither. My second was to call County Animal Control. Their first impulse was to dither. Their second was to call somebody else. Someone may or not call me tomorrow. In the meantime the local ants were taking an interest in the nestling. Being eaten alive by ants did not seem a fitting end even to a little bird so I put on work gloves and went out and put it in a box with torn up newspapers and brought it in the house.
It had been lying on a hot sidewalk on a hot day so I figured it was probably dehydrated and likely to die of that. So I went to the local mall pet food store and got plastic syringes and meal worms. I have been forcing open its beak and squirting water in its mouth every hour for two hours now. It has recovered enough to be able to raise its head. In a couple more hours I will try to get it to eat a meal worm (the raven chick may eventually come to think of me as Mother Teresa -- I doubt the meal worms will.). On the third try I got the meal worm in his mouth and he closed his beak. I don't know if he has swallowed it yet but I assume he will eventually.
So here's the problem. I am leaving for the summer on Monday, Tuesday at the latest. I am going to attempt to bicycle across Canada south to north. After that I plan to go to an eclipse in China in August. When Animal Control doesn't show tomorrow, what do I do with the raven?
According to wikipedia, ravens are considered highly intelligent, make good pets, and have been known to live up to 40 years in captivity. So it could be pet for a child to grow up with, or for an older person a pet that can outlive you. It could become a boomer heirloom. You could teach it to say, "Nevermore", and write anguished poetry about it. Tentative name is Edgar.
There has to be someone out there in blog land who will have pity on a poor little bird (who will eventually grow up to be a grand big bird.). According to wikipedia ravens are omnivores and eat most things that people eat, much like a dog. Time to step off the sameness of dog, cat, goldfish. Find out from the original source if there is balm in Gilead, whether you'll ever see Lenore again. Get a raven. Now.