Trudy Andrew | Canadian Author

Tails From the Farm

Sweetpea to the Rescue

Sometimes, it’s all about happenchance and timing. If the girlchild hadn’t gone into the barn we rarely use, she wouldn’t have seen the nest of a barn swallow, suddenly on the ground. Not only was it on the ground, but there was an adult swallow beneath it.
At first, she and her beau thought the poor bird had met its end. When the nest and bird were carefully picked up, they were both surprised and pleased to find that, the tiny bird was actually alive. It often seems that when birds of any kind, end up on their backs, they calm right down. If this wee mite had struggled, it could’ve done itself a good deal of harm. Because it was on its back, it just lay there. Somehow, the poor, little creature had become tangled in the long horsehair both it and its mate had been using to line the nest. Our best guess is that in the frantic struggle that most certainly had occurred, the nest had been pulled off the barn rafter. How the tiny swallow had survived the fall, especially when the nest had ended up pinning it to the floor, is nothing short of amazing.
So, the girlchild and her beau gently, ever so slowly freed the wee bird from its fetters. Horsehair had twisted together in an unbreakable, thin rope and was wrapped around the base of one wing several times. As carefully as surgeons, they snipped away the horsehair the little swallow was trapped by. Every time they thought they had freed the bird, there was another layer to deal with. All the while, its mate worriedly hovered nearby. Humans were scary, but its lifetime partner was too important to leave. Snip by careful snip, the horsehair was cut away until the tiny bird was freed.
Then came the part that’s almost the most worrisome, at least for the humans who so diligently did their best. Was it uninjured? Would it be able to fly and rejoin its mate? Thankfully, the rescue had a completely wonderful and happy ending. The swallows were reunited. The one that had been so incredibly lucky to be found alive, immediately flew with as much skill and ease as ever. Seeing the couple back together as should be, is a wonderful thing.
With only a few missing feathers to show for the ordeal, it’s one lucky bird. It could’ve been killed or harmed by the fall as well as the weight of the nest. One of the outdoor cats could easily have come across it, or it could’ve been days before anyone noticed it, there on the floor under the camouflaged little pile. Thankfully, it survived and now flies with its mate as it should be doing. The tiny couple that returns every year to nest, raise a family or two per summer and eat hundreds upon hundreds of mosquitoes, are happily together again.
Passing beneath them as they sat on the wire going to the barn, I paused to smile. The ruffled feathers the little male had suffered were the only clues to the near fatal accident it had experienced. As I spoke to them, my smile grew. For some reason, it seems that they’re a little less wary than they had been. Maybe they realize people, at least their people, aren’t that bad at all.

1 Comment
  1. I very much miss reading your wonderful stories, and updates on Big Jim! Hope all is well with you, your family and your farm.

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About Trudy Andrew

Trudy Andrew lives on a small farm just east of Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she enjoys her Morgan horses. A dreamer since she was a child, its no surprise to those who know her well that her imagination would find an outlet in writing, as it has in the past through artwork.
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 Oakbank, MB