Sunday, July 3, 2011

Adventures of Flicker-Bip.

Art Card made entirely of Polymer Clay - no paint.

Take what you like and leave the rest --- and spelling doesn't count.

Oftentimes very little is going on here, but this week has given us 'Adventures'.  Mostly, it has been about the animals.

A re-cap for those of you who may not know:  I currently live in a lovely, ancient mobile home with 7 cats, 3 dogs, and 1 roommate.  I am down to only about 1,500 (approx) books and a generous roomful of art supplies (unfortunately, they don't all fit into one room.  There is spill-over into both my room and the porch).  We have a tiny yard, a huge covered & latticed porch, and both a dog door & a cat door (2 different levels).  We are pretty happy here.

I won't go into all the things that have happened (too boring for all except the most diligent readers of blogs), but I would like to share with you the Adventures of Flicker-Bip.

On a beautiful summer morning, long before things got too hot, Paulie Paul, the gray and white kitten, decided to go for a walk.  As he prowled around the yard pretending to be a big game hunter, he happened upon a small salamander.  Curious, he poked at it.  It ran away.  Naturally, he went after it.  After a spirited game of hide and seek, Paulie Paul caught it and brought it into the house as a gift, which he deposited on my bed.  I thanked him and put the fairly non-damaged salamander outside, holding Paulie Paul and petting him, telling him what a Great Hunter he was.

Paulie Paul just loved it.  He likes to think of himself as dangerous to small things. 

Encouraged by his success, he went back out into the yard.  Later I heard him return but I was getting ready to leave so I didn't pay much attention until I heard a very scared 'peep'. 

Drat.  He brought in a bird! 

I raced to the hallway where I saw Paulie Paul looking very innocent.  I went down on hands and knees, looking for the bird.  Nothing.  I looked under and over and around.  No more sounds, and no bird to be seen.  It was hopeless.  I soon left for my appointment, hoping that the birds death would be quick.

When I returned, and friend came over and we were talking when again, I heard a 'peep'.  This time it was not totally scared, more like resigned.  I looked over and there on the bed, surrounded by three dogs and two cats, was a baby sparrow.  It looked as if all hope was gone. 

Carefully and moving slowly, I reached into the carnivore circle and lifted out the bird.  It didn't move.  It let out a very weak 'peep' and proceeded to shut its eyes so as to not see the coming death.

My friend got an eyedropper and cleaned it out.  We took coolish (but not cold) water and put it on his beak.  He was having none of it.  I knew we had to get some water into him or he would go into shock and die.  I wasn't too sure he would make it anyway, but I was hoping.  I lifted his beak up with a gentle finger and my friend tried again with the water in the eye-dropper.  He did not open his beak, but after she pulled away, he opened his beak and took in a couple of drops.  Then a little more.  There was Hope!

My friend and I discussed the possibilities for a name.  The kid was too little to tell us his name easily, so we had to help him..  My friend was sure his name was 'Bip', I kept on thinking 'Flicker', so obviously his name was 'Flicker-Bip'.

Now, Flicker-Bip was still not moving much, so I thought of where I could put him that the cats would not get him again.  I ended up putting him in a very large potted plant on the porch.  My friend and I sat down to continue talking.  After just a very few minutes, we heard a 'chirp', then an answering 'peep'.  We looked out and there was the mother sparrow!  She was hoping all over, trying to get her offspring to fly (Flicker-Bip was just barely old enough, but he could fly).  It was heartening.  We held our breath, watching him perk up and respond.

Then we saw Paulie Paul.  He jumped up on the railing and proceeded to stuff Flicker-Bip in his mouth.  I ran out, but Paulie Paul was too fast for me.  After a couple of laps around the yard, he dropped the bird under a bush and ran off.  I picked up Flicker-Bip again and re-deposited him in the plant.  Then I grabbed up Paulie Paul and got him inside.  I closed off all the dog and cat doors, then went out to gather up the remaining cats.  Everyone was inside, pressing their noses against the glass door to watch the bird.  Again the mother bird returned.  Again she started fluttering about.

Unfortunately I had other things to attend to, so I did not see the end of the story.  I do know that all my cats and dogs were inside and later that afternoon, there was no baby bird in the plant.  And my dogs did not bark as they would have if a neighbor dog or cat had invaded our space.

I like to think that Mom came back and got him.  I know that may not be the case, but I am hopeful and it could be true.  I am delighted that my cats have such soft mouths, that they can carry birds and salamanders undamaged except for being very wet.

Now, when I look out the window and see a sparrow, I wonder if it is Mom, or even Flicker-Bip.  I hope so.  I do love sparrows.

May he long fly free.


  1. I agree, beautiful! I love sparrows too; they are my favorite bird and have been since I was a small child. I think I related to their tiny size and I loved their brown color(s).

  2. Love you saguaro art card. Your work has such a wonderful mood and feel to it!