This is an opinion piece.

One fall day back in the early 1970s, I remember sitting at the top of my metal slide gazing up at the drifting clouds when suddenly a whirl of green flew by my face.  

I jumped up to get a better view and was so surprised to see a little bird flying frantically all around. It looked just like the ones for sale I had seen at Woolworth’s and Howard Brothers in Albertville. I always begged to get one, but money was tight and Momma firmly said “no” each time I asked 

My Aunt Lucille had a blue parakeet in a cage at her house in Grant and every time we went for a visit, I was fascinated with it. She had taught it to say a few words and I thought it was grandest pet ever. Momma didn’t know, but I prayed for a bird of my very own every single day.  

 Now, right here in my backyard, was the answer to my prayers! The little ball of green flew all around me for a while, then landed at the top of the swing-set before fluttering off again.  It’s a wonder I didn’t fall off the top trying to grab him each time he landed. 

After trying unsuccessfully to catch him for over an hour, I decided to get help. Gathering my courage, I went to find Momma.   

When I told her there was a bird in the backyard, she just laughed and said, “There’s lots of birds outside.” I explained this was like the ones you could buy in town and like the one Aunt Lucille had. She kept smiling and trying to tell me that birds like didn’t roam freely in our neighborhood.  

 However, when I continued to beg for her help, she finally followed me outside. I prayed my new little friend was still there and after looking around a few minutes, I spotted him… sitting on a window ledge on the back of the house. Momma couldn’t believe it! 

“If we catch him, can I keep him?” I begged and she finally nodded. I’m sure she never thought we could actually trap him.   

 We went back to the kitchen and Momma started rummaging through the cabinets. She pulled out a big wire colander and a flat cookie sheet. I followed her down the hall to the bathroom. Quiet as a mouse, she unlocked the tiny window in there and raised it up. The little bird was still sitting there!  

 Quick as a wink she placed the colander over him and raked it towards her onto the cookie pan. She turned around smiling and asked, “Well, what are we gonna do with him now?” 

The little bird fluttered around inside the bowl while Momma sat at the table shaking her head.  After watching my excitement, she finally picked up our black, rotary phone and called Daddy at work. I didn’t hear their hushed conversation, but when he got home that evening, he had a red and white birdcage and a box of bird feed! 

We named him “Tweety” and the entire family soon fell in love with him. He learned to mimic us when we told him “Good morning” and “Good night” and became a permanent fixture in our den, singing and chirping the days away.  

Finding that little bird when I needed a pet and a friend taught me that God sometimes sends something completely out of the ordinary into your world. Just grab onto it and be thankful for all his blessings…no matter how small. 

Sandy Holsonback is a guest columnist for The Reporter.

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