*Warning: pictures of lifeless pre-peep.
We missed church yesterday (it was Monday when I started this blog post) because this family's health is still a mess, but we're getting better, don't you worry. It's mainly our bodies adjusting to the shift in weather and the approaching summer.
Anyway, as I set out to water the plants yesterday, I immediately noticed something resting on one of the mulberry's leaves. I thought it looked like chewed up food that somebody flicked off. As I came closer, I could tell that it was a bird and surmised that it was perhaps part of a balut's chick (a balut is a boiled fertlized egg, a common street food in our parts).
Upon closer inspection, however, it became clear to me that it was a partially hatched peep (pre-peep?) with some of its egg shell still on it.
The image clutched at my heart and squeezed. The poor thing. I supposed that there was a nest somewhere overhead because that would have been the second time an egg had landed in that area to my knowledge. The first time, the egg was really young (I don't know how to term it) and the yolk and white splattered on our windshield when it fell.
This one, though. The peep was pretty well-formed, and it looked so peaceful nestled on that mulberry leaf, so the mother in me kicked in. In my mind, that was a baby and I had to do something. I observed that the ants hadn't gotten to it yet so I deduced that it hadn't been there long yet.
This is where I let pure science dictate my actions.
Even though the thing wasn't breathing and I was mostly ignorant when it came to birds and their birthing/hatching system, I decided to go ahead and try to revive it. I placed the peep in a nest I'd made using a plastic bowl and shredded paper towel. I then found a goose neck lamp and tried to warm it up. Belatedly, I realized that the bulb was no good because it was LED.
What to do, what to do? I had to get it warm.
I was in the kitchen, so my eyes lit on the microwave, the oven toaster, the stove top, the actual oven... Don't worry. I didn't stupidly end up roasting the peep I was futilely trying to save. Obviously, those weren't viable tools in this undertaking. I did find something that I could use though. It wasn't the best option, but it was the only one I could come up with at the time - a candle.
So this is where I got really scientific.
I had several candles, all of them scented. The choices were vanilla, apple pie, cinnamon, peppermint, and apple. I decided to go with cinnamon because it would present the best suggestion of that Ikea bowl-paper towel nest being on a tree, considering that cinnamon comes from the bark of a tree. Also, that particular candle was brown, so... Like I said, these were decisions borne of scientific data, hard logic, valid reasoning, etc.
I know I was being an idiot. When my husband came down, he took in the candle and the lifeless peep and asked me if I was holding a wake. It's just another one of the long list of things I do that he thinks are pointless.
I knew right off that it was an exercise in vain. It did feel foolish (and felt even more so after I read that mother birds sometimes push eggs off the nest themselves), but, hey, that had never stopped me in the past. I had to do it. It's kind of like when I'm at the store and an item falls to the floor. Others walk past it and I tell myself that a clerk will take care of it, but, noooo, I can't bring myself to not pick it up and place it back or put it somewhere safe.
What would you have done? Let nature take its course? Buried the poor thing? If you would have gone through the same trouble as I did, then I hope we're friends because we can have fun doing a lot of impractical things together. :)