Life Lessons When You Least Expect It – What someone’s missing cockatiel taught my son, my daughter, and my son’s flag football team
If I posed the question, “What would be the last thing you would expect to happen while watching your son’s flag football game?” you probably still couldn’t come up with what happened to me and my family.
Life Lessons When You Least Expect It
As we were sitting on the sidelines enjoying the game, a low-flying bird came swooping in attempting to land on my daughter’s head! It honestly came out of nowhere. We were seated by ourselves on the tree lined side of the field. I was able to calm my daughter’s shock and fear once I showed her that the bird was not some vulture or wild animal, it was in fact, somebody’s pet!
Now, we’re sitting at the outdoor fields of the Pontiac Silverdome, far from any residential subdivision, wondering where this very social cockatiel could have come from. I walked up to the bird and put out my hand. Immediately, it hopped on and chirped in a friendly way. We looked around us and knew that we could not just leave and assume that the bird would return back to where it came from. This was a very domesticated bird that needed help or it would not survive. The first of the life lessons my kids learned, you have to act to do the right thing.
The flag football game had ended so we walked the bird over to other groups of adults and asked if knew of anyone who had lost a bird. All the kids were excited about the bird and fed it SunChips (the post game snack). The bird’s nails were getting long and he was looking pretty scruffy, so we knew it had been out here for a long time and was hungry. Since its wings were clipped, it could fly a little but probably not more than a 100 yards or so at a stretch. We all just scratched our heads as a group wondering what to do with the lost bird.
We explained to the kids that this bird needed our help since it was someone’s pet and would not know how to get its own food, and it could not fly well since its wings were clipped. The kids understood, and all of them wanted to take the bird home! The parents however, knew this was not an option as one had a large dog, another two cats, etc. We explained to the kids that one of us could take the bird home for the night and then bring it to the Humane Society in the morning in hopes to connect it to its owners. Plus, life lessons #2, you can’t keep what isn’t yours! This was tough for the kids to understand at first. We couldn’t just leave the bird either. There was no way it could fend for itself. The group of us sat around the Silverdome practice fields for quite a while trying to determine the best course of option for the lost bird. It was getting dark out but no one was willing to leave that parking lot until we had a game plan for how to help the bird.
The owner of the i9 football league, Chris Novak, offered to take the bird. It was extremely nice of him and he really stepped in to help while all the rest of us who had kids tugging on our shirts and begging to take it home. We took a box and put a bunch of holes in it and he brought it home for the night. Another mom went online and found a family that had lost a bird that looked just like the one we’d found. She emailed the info to Chris who got in touch with the family and the next day, reunited the bird with the family that lost it almost 3 weeks earlier! When Chris emailed us to let us know, we could not believe that this bird had traveled from The Rochester/Tienken area all the way to the Silverdome!
We were so happy to be able to save this bird and get it back to its family. I showed my kids the email about how the other family got their pet back. The family has 3 kids who were so happy to see their bird. My kids realized what a nice ending this story had. Not only had we been able to save this bird’s life, but we were able to bring it back to the family that loves and misses him. Life lessons #3 – doing the right thing always seems to pay off.
The life lessons in the missing bird story seemed to miss it’s mark with my kids at first. They were a little bummed out that they couldn’t keep the lost bird. I explained to them that when an animal or someone needs help, you just can’t turn a blind eye and hope everything works out OK. My daughter knew she’d be crushed if her guinea pig ran away or was lost. The “lost bird incident” was also a reminder to them that teamwork and the kindness of strangers can make a world of difference and that a group of well-meaning strangers can work together to help someone. It wasn’t a heroic act, but one that I knew had sunk in with my kids when they realized that trying to help was the best (and only real) course of action. Life Lessons When You Least Expect It!