To begin with, let me explain that I am looking after a baby bird. I have no idea what variety or species of bird it is – or will grow up to be. Currently it looks eerily like a baby thestral from the Harry Potter films. It is a tiny quivering strangely angled lump of pink flesh with coarse fibres projecting in all directions. These fibres, at their tips, show signs of becoming feathers. It’s like the fucking thing was prematurely born and its mother thought the middle of our driveway was a nice, warm, safe incubator.
The several neighbourhood cats are nice and warm, but probably not precisely safe, in this context.
Diana picked the goddam thing up without consulting the internet. Once I consulted the internet, I learned that every fucking baby-bird-care site on the net begins with this little gem:
DON’T PICK UP THE BABY BIRD.
Too late for that. Apparently, the first thing to do is to put it into the bushes if it’s got feathers (which this one doesn’t) or put it into its nest if it doesn’t have feathers (and I couldn’t find any nest).
So the second piece of advice, one I came up with myself, is this:
DON’T NAME THE BABY BIRD.
Too late for that. “Its name is Yap,” I am helpfully informed by the lovely Diana.
“Honey,” I say. “It’s probably going to die.”
“I know!” she says cheerily. It’s like somehow she knows this shit gets to me more than it gets to anyone else. I mask it well. I refuse to call it by its name – “Yap”. I refer to it as “it”. Or “the goddam thing”.
So I go to sleep assuming it’s going to die, and last night I dreamt that I woke up and overnight it had grown into a sparrow that flew around the room. There are undertones of Pokemon throughout all of this, of course. My dream made perfect sense, either due to my experience of Pokemon evolving or my experience with tiny chicks turning into adolescent hens appallingly quickly.
Anyway, I woke up and it was still alive. He or she. Yap. And let me assure you that I am going somewhere with this.
On the advice of the internet and Auckland Bird Rescue, I am feeding Yap a mulch of water and cat food. I have a lot of cat food on hand, as there is a cat that looks mournfully through the glass sliding door at me and cannot understand why I have banished it from this realm of suddenly very interesting scents and sounds.
And because I’m the one feeding it and cleaning it and moving away its disturbingly tidy ejaculations of shit from behind it, it’s done something.
It’s goddam imprinted on me.
As any Twilight fan knows, imprinting is where a werewolf (in this case, a baby bird) falls firmware-in-love with a newborn baby (in this case, me). The little fucking bird opened its eyes for the first time this morning and has decided that I am pretty much as awesome as my mum assures me I am.
It’s just tiny. It’s tiny. It’s got a fully functioning digestive tract and vocal chords and it would fit in my mouth and it thinks I’m its mum.
To get my mind off this fact, I watch some season-three M*A*S*H, which I bought over Christmas, and I get to the final episode of season three and goddam Henry Blake dies (spoiler alert for anyone born after 1990), and I get so distraught about this fictitious character’s death that I worry about how I’m going to deal with the inevitable death of a defenceless creature that thinks I’m its mum, so I try to find season four of M*A*S*H online.
What I find is no episodes of MASH. What I find are episodes of New Zealand sMASHes Guiness World Records.
And the world
because who the fuck
thought it would be a good idea
to upload random Antipodean trash to an international streaming TV site.