I came home from church today to find my 11 year old daughter, Amy, crying her little eyes out.
I asked her what the trouble was. As it turns out, the owners of a cockatiel that we have been taking care of the last 3-4 weeks called. They were able to identify the bird. They will be coming over to our house to pick him up within the next hour.
It was actually one of our neighbors who found the bird. We have a cockatiel of our own, and a few months ago our bird flew over and perched on our neighbor’s roof. Our son Bryan, ended up climbing up on their roof to retrieve our bird. When this cockatiel landed on their fence, the neighbors thought it was just our bird on the loose again. So they brought him over to us.
Since we already have a cockatiel of our own (and six parakeets -- and don't forget the dog too!) we were well equipped to take in the extra cockatiel. We call our cockatiel "Big Bird", so we began calling the other cockatiel "Little Bird."
It didn't take long for Little Bird to grow on us. He is a little younger and smaller than ours. He has been well trained and is quite good with people. In fact he loves being with someone who will groom him and give him attention.
Somehow along the way, Little Bird learned to sing the whistling theme song to the Andy Griffith show. It is quite endearing to hear him sing songs. He would sing along with me when I would play the piano too.
We all fell in love with Little Bird, but our daughter Amy became the most attached to him. Mama has Big Bird perched on her shoulder for much of the day. Now Amy could have a cockatiel on her shoulder like mama. Little Bird has such a sweet disposition, so it was easy for Amy to become quite attached to him, even in the short 3-4 weeks that we have had him in our home.
The other day, one of our neighbors noticed a poster along the roadside advertising a lost cockatiel, complete with phone numbers to call. Yesterday Dawn Ann called and left messages on their phones. Today, around noon-time, they called back.
Apparently the owners of Little Bird have been away on vacation. Dawn Ann could hear their 7 year old daughter screaming and jumping up and down for joy that her bird had been found!
It was about this time that I came home to see Amy in tears. We waited for a few minutes, to allow Amy to compose herself, and then we took some photos of Amy and Little Bird together.
Now we wait for the doorbell to ring, and to say our farewells to Little Bird. We will miss him. . . .
. . . . . Several hours have gone by. It's nearly 4:00 we finally decided to lie down for our Sunday nap a little after 3:00. We knew that as soon as we got to sleep, they would come. However, we also knew that if we stayed up, they might not come until evening. Sure enough, just after I fell asleep, the phone rang. They were calling from a cell phone in their car, and asking for directions to our house.
The seven year old who had been jumping for joy upon learning that her bird had been found is named Delaney. Their family had been camping in the mountains and had just returned this afternoon.
Delaney’s joy, is Amy’s tears.
We learned that "Little Bird's" real name is "Sweetie Pie" That's a really fitting name for this bird with such a sweet disposition. As it turns out, Delaney has only had Sweetie Pie for the last six months or so. A neighbor of theirs gave him to them.
Sweetie Pie was used to having full-reign of their apartment. Apparently he walked out the door and must have gotten spooked somehow, and flew off. He was found about a mile and a half away in our neighbor's yard.
Amy has since recovered from crying her eyes out when she first heard the news. We tried to get her to see it from Delaney's point of view. What if your pet was lost. Wouldn't you want someone to be honest enough to call you and let you know that it had been found?
After a while, Amy came to me, still with a little halt to her voice, and said, "I know that Heavenly Father will bless me for giving back "Little Bird." I don't know how he will bless me, or when, but I know he will bless me somehow."
Is this not faith? Many times we are called upon to be obedient, and to do what is right, even if we don't know what the reward, or blessing will be, or when we will receive it.
We will all miss Little Bird. We are thankful for the 3 weeks or so that we have had him in our home. But more importantly, if Amy can learn a lasting lesson on faith, and trust in Heavenly Father, this whole experience, although sad at times, will have been well worthwhile.