K insists that I should write about this story. I don’t have a choice, do I?
By the way, it’s a good story and I want to share with you.
Let me warn you before you continue, this post is longer than usual. But worth every minute of your time.
Here we go:
It was a clear morning and we took K out for breakfast the Saturday before last while J was in school for tuition.
We saw a black bird on the ground at the roadside near where we parked the car. There’s nothing unusual but what caught our attention was the bird was bitten by fire ants all over its body.
We stopped and were not sure what to do. My wife was trying to get rid of the fierce ants from the bird by scrubbing using a twig found nearby.
It didn’t work. Feeling helpless, we moved on and headed to the cafe where we wanted to have our breakfast.
While we were at the cafe, we didn’t feel quite right due to the fact we did noting to help the dying bird. K was especially persistent in wanting to rescue the bird.
(Here’s an undeniable fact: K is very compassionate when it comes to animals.)
We went back to where we found the bird after breakfast. Sure enough, the bird was still there. But this time it was clear of all the ants that were attacking it.
In fact, a passer-by who noticed the bird before us did a big favor to the bird by removing the ants. He placed the bird a few feet away from its original place to avoid it from being eaten alive again by ants.
There was a tingling feeling in us that it was not safe for the bird to be there. Sooner or later, ants would have come to the bird again.
Thinking that the bird was injured or sick (since we saw that the bird couldn’t walk or even stand), it was time for us to show our compassion towards small animals.
As they say, “Action speaks louder than words.” We picked up the bird and sent K to his weekly badminton class.
Before he went off, K had been telling us many times to make sure that we send the bird to a veterinarian and he wanted us to promise to bring the bird home after the visit to the animal clinic.
What a persistent boy!
We had not seen a vet in our entire life so we looked up for nearby animal clinics on the net. We managed to find out which was only 2 minutes away from where we were.
Upon investigation, the vet told us that the bird was still a baby as its feather had not fully grown yet but she was not sure what species it was. Also, the vet told us the bird had no injuries.
After the bird was examined, we brought it home. That’s how we ended up having a not so common pet at home.
Long story short, we coincidentally passed by the same area on the way to lunch and accidentally saw another bird on the ground. Immediately we thought of another mishap happened again.
In the end, we ended up with two birds and one given to the assistant of the vet for adoption.
For the first time, J and K were thrilled to have birds as pet.
Boy can the baby crows make so much noise: “wah… wah… wah….”
They ask for food very often and they sleep a lot. J and K acted as their mothers by tending to them.
The worst part is the parents (not J and K) had to attend to the bird droppings. Unlike humans, they do their business like once every 2.5 minutes. It’s quite a task just changing the sheets. In the end, we gave up and reduced it to changing once or twice a day.
This routine carried on and came the third day, I casually did a research on what baby crows eat.
I found something rather astonishing. Not about food but about the natural behavior of crows.
After reading three articles, there’s one common point that is shared in those articles (one of which written by an expert in crows from a university). Baby crows are left out of the nest even before they learn to fly or walk.
The crow parents want to “train” babies survival skills and how to fly. The parents or family just monitor from far and the baby crows are left on the ground to learn whatever they need to learn. The adult crows only interfere when there’s danger. Otherwise, the baby crows are left uninterrupted.
To someone who know nothing about birds or crows, this is a groundbreaking fact!
That means we were making a mistake big time. Thinking that the birds fell out from the nest and we did our part to rescue them but in fact we were destroying the natural life of the birds. We deprived the right of the baby crows to learn to survive on their own.
I also read that baby crows that have been adopted by humans for a period of time will not survive in the wild even though they are given the freedom to be on their own later.
Instead of doing the birds a favor, we were making a mistake by taking them home.
Not to make things worse, we immediately released the birds back to where we found them on the fourth day. Hopefully, the baby crows could find their parents there.
I felt relieved after the release.
J and K took the matter not too badly. They could let the birds go without creating much havoc.
That’s the end of their short “birdy” encounter.
What do I go to such great lengths to tell you this story about crows?
Listen up: Believe it or not, the crows can teach us something about parenting!
As what adult crows have demonstrated, we (human parents) have to let go in order for children to grow up. We have to let go so the kids can get more. We must not do everything for them and we must let them have the chance to do it. They have to face their own failure in order to taste success. They have to fall in order to walk.
We only jump in when there’s a danger or they need our help. Other than that, just watch from afar and curb your temptation to interfere.
For more tips on letting go and letting grow, check out “The Nonconformist’s Guide to Parenting.”
More details about the book can be found here:
I am sure your parenting life will not be as stressful as taking care of baby crows.