Playing God

My daughter was just out of college and living with me. She slept in the family room where the woodstove was. She reported hearing noises from the stove, like “an animal trapped inside.”

Assuming it to be a squirrel I was hesitant to open the stove, lest the animal escape into the house. I was busy at work and before I realized it a week had passed and there was no longer any noise from the stove. I cautiously opened the door. Tucked in a pile of ashes in a dark corner I saw what appeared to be a dead sparrow.

I reached in to grab it just about the time the daylight brought it back to life. As I grabbed the fluttering bird I saw another one under him, also coming back to life with the appearance of light.

I carried the first bird to my front door. My house had almost no yard. It sat right on the sidewalk and street, at an intersection with a stoplight. I stood on the stoop and gently tossed the bird up into the air. He fluttered and took off, leaving a tiny trail of soot dust, to the delight of gaping, smiling passers by.

I captured the second bird and took him to the front door. This time I waited for a red light and the cars to stop before I let him go. I really should have been in The Ten Commandments.

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