Bird foot

January 5th, 2011

The boys and I went into the woods this morning to feed the ducks. On the way, in the middle of the path, we came upon a pile of black feathers and, upon closer inspection, a complete bird’s foot. Small Boy immediately asked if he could keep the foot; he’s “always wanted one.” I said sure, he can have the foot. It’s funny: R is the one who grew up on a farm but he’s reluctant to bring into the house all the birds’ nests and feathers and spotted cracked bird eggs we find in the woods. I’m the one who says sure, take the foot. Small Boy picked it up and walked along a bit, and we wondered if it was the fox that got the bird – I think it was a blackbird – or one of the kites or buzzards that live in the woods. Small Boy held the foot carefully and said “I’m sad for the bird because it had to die. But I’m glad I found the foot.”

I love that he thinks the bird foot is cool and not gross. I love that he takes a moment to be sad for the bird. I love the way he is part big boy and part small boy, part crazy wild kid and part sensitive soul. The kind of boy who thinks a bird foot is totally cool, but kind of sad.

2 Responses to “Bird foot”

  1. Gretchen on January 5, 2011 3:32 pm

    I think I may be able to shed some light on Reto’s reluctance. It’s BECAUSE he grew up on a farm that he is reluctant to bring that stuff into the house.

    I grew up in a farming community and no one’s parents let them do it. The stuff you find may be fine, but there are some pretty scary bacteria that can be found on dead animals. This is especially true of of dead birds. They seem to attract the really scary ones that can make people seriously ill.

    We grew up knowing that if we touched any of that stuff, we had to wash our hands very thoroughly and that it was to NEVER come in the house!

    Be careful!

  2. Jennifer on January 5, 2011 6:29 pm

    You know, when I was writing that, in my head I wrote a parenthetical: “(Well, actually growing up on the farm is probably why he doesn’t like it.)” Guess I should have typed it.

    I still think the foot is cool.

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