I was having a shitty day and week and on my way into Bobst to read a book, because I have no job yet (it’s sort of a Catch 22 in that I need to find out if I get this internship before I tell my other [future] employer I can’t nanny for her, but even that job is threatened now because she’s considering daycare full time), and that was when I found a struggling baby bird on the sidewalk.
It had fallen on the sidewalk from one of the tree receptacles in front of Bobst and was fluttering around with what seemed to be a broken wing and crumpled legs. The mother was calling to it from the nest above, so I used a bag to lift it near her, though she seemed unable to help and it kept trying to make its way to the edge of the cement cliff again.
A few people helped me get it up there and then left, and I found a number for Urban Park Rangers, who will rescue birds in city parks. I said this one was in Washington Square Park; though it was just outside of it, that seemed like semantics.
Urban Park Rangers told me they could bring no one right now and I should find a way to keep it safe until tomorrow, where they would pick it up at the location (very specific: “second tree from the left of the library”). But they said to take it to the Wild Bird Fund, which I couldn’t reach but they said was open until six. It was four-thirty, and when I called I got a message that the Fund closed at five.
I asked a woman if she could grab me a newspaper from inside Bobst to wrap the bird in for the night before the rangers could come. She was very pretty and wore a lacy top and brilliantly blue heels, and became immediately concerned, lifted her sunglasses, and examined the bird with me. Unlike the other people who had passed by or the very few who had talked with me, she was concerned enough to suggest that we go straight there (I would have felt fine, if a little uncomfortable, with leaving the bird for the night).
So we took the train uptown, talking about our lives, relationships and time at NYU - we both liked it - and found the Wild Bird Fund on Columbus and 87th, only a few streets away from where I lived one summer. We walked along the brown, steady townhouses in dappled, breezy light, and I remembered how much I loved being uptown.
When we took “Twiggy” in to the Wild Bird Fund, which is an amazing place full of pigeons and other animals found in the city - there was even a swan! - a woman initially said he seemed fine. I felt like an idiot for bringing him there. I insisted she take another look and she took him into the vet, who noticed that when he walked he had a broken leg. They said they’d keep him there, put him in a splint, feed him (which is impossible for people to do at home, as you need an eyedrop and practice), and release him. I almost bought a sweatshirt to support them, but it was $40 and so I planned on buying one before I go to Oxford in the fall. (I won’t need one during summer anyway). I asked if I could volunteer and they gave me a pamphlet and the two of us left.
Krista, the girl I was with, took the B train back home, but I decided to walk across the park. It was beautiful weather, and I felt so happy at helping the bird, and so cheered by something (literally) so small. I looked at the Reservoir and the water that became dark and dense almost as soon as it touched the stone, and noticed the birds more than I usually do. If I can be around nature, and take walks, and live in weather like this, I can be happy.