A tiny bird flew into the branches of our tree. This was not an outside tree. It wasn't even a real tree, but one with silk leaves. And it was in our bedroom!
The little bird did not know this, of course, and seemed quite content with its newfound perch. It was a very young bird with a beautiful red-and-orange throat and sharp little feet.
Very softly, I spoke to it. "Well, hello little bird...." But the sound of my voice frightened it. It flew up to the ceiling and tried to get out the skylight. But our skylight does not open. Now the little bird appeared frightened. I thought the best thing to do was let it find its own way out. So I opened all the windows, closed the doors that led into the house, and went out. We had to leave for several hours, which would give the bird plenty of time to find its way outside.
We left without thinking too much more about it.
We have many birds where we live: herons and egrets that wade in the water and fish for their food; brown pelicans that fly in V-formation and crash into the water like collapsed umbrellas when they spy a fish. These are large birds, and even though they land on our roof at times, I am very happy to say that they have not flown into the house through open windows. We also have gulls - large, aggressive birds that will eat your lunch if you are not careful. The gulls and ducks stay outside, too. But what happened to our little bird? Surely, four hours was enough time for Birdie to fly away home.
Cautiously we opened the bedroom door and tiptoed around the room. Birdie was not near the skylight. Nor was the bird in the silk tree. We breathed a sigh of relief. The little thing had found its way outside. But wait! On the wall, over a mirror frame, there's a photo of a beautiful white sea gull with outstretched wings. And under the picture, perched on the mirror frame, was the little bird, fast asleep. We wondered if Birdie imagined this photo of a gull was its mother.
Birdie looked comfortable and ready to stay with us, but we thought his mother might worry. So we gently picked up the bird with a T-shirt and let it go out an open window.
We have never seen the bird since, but with all the chirping coming from the outside trees, I would say Birdie found its way home.