But today was marked as the designated day to move, and so began the ruckus, the patient but persistent calling, and of course, the cries that spoke loudly of “I can’t do it!”
It started early, at the first hint of sunrise. I heard the noise and thought maybe a cat had found the nest. But there was Mom and Dad Wren, sitting on a branch a few feet away, calling and calling and calling. . . . .
And little ones standing on top of the honeysuckle, arguing back.
Every year, it’s the same story, the same argument, the same journey to the woods -- and every year, I hold my breath. The whole ruckus attracts preditors and they seem so vulnerable in these few moments. It’s their first flight, and that doesn’t always go so well. They don’t go high or with much speed, and they don’t go far before falling beak first into the sandy ground. So I watch . . . And hold my breath. . . And leave Buster inside.
The whole ordeal attracts an audience, it seems. The cardinals are singing away, cheering them on, and the fly-catchers sounds like a band of policemen blowing their whistles as they keep unwanted traffic away from the parade path of little wrens. So, for just a few moments, God looks down and smiles, for all is good!
Momma wren is persistant and does not take NO for an answer. The first one jumps, flaps like crazy, but lands only a few feet from the fence and starts crying like crazy. Nothing to fear, as mom and dad are down there within seconds. They nudge this fearful fledgling until he’s up again, this time a few feet higher and and few yards further. . . . And down again. . . Face in the sand.
And makes it to the tree.
Meanwhile, wee ones 2 and 3 feel abandoned and make the jump, land on their face, and the process begins again until the 5 of them are on the branch of the tree. Believe me, these little ones were NOT happy campers. They were in a strange place, being made to do things they had never done, and were now hungry and tired with no food and no nest. Mom sensed the hunger part, flew straight to the feeder, grabbed the first thing she could and stuffed it down their throats. And just as they settled down. . . It began again.
Mom and Dad flew to the next tree and began calling. I wondered how far they had to go with all this and how long it would take. But within an hour, the last little one had made it to the edge of the woods, and all was silent. I wondered. . . Are they now on their own? All alone? I looked for them all day long, listened for their song, but heard nothing. But somehow I knew all was well, the cycle of wren life was going on, and Mom and Dad would be back to begin the whole process again before long.
And so my day begins. I pick myself up out of the sand, brush myself off, and flap my wings. . . . Again. Perhaps today I’ll fly and soar in the winds without falling flat on my beak!
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?