Regarding the fate of Mr. Pidggy, I received an email from Project Wildlife today. They regretfully informed me that Mr. Pidggy was too sick/injured and did not survive. Through the tears in my eyes, I wonder if I made the right choice to take him to the clinic, or if he would have been better served dying in his natural environment. Starving to death seems a miserable way to go, but at least he would have been near his home and the ocean and maybe would have found a way to adapt to his handicap, although I doubt it seriously. I suppose in the big picture, I should worry more about how much I drive my car, or fly in an airplane, or buy food from the grocery story, than the fate of a stupid pigeon.....but I can't seem to make my brain work like that.
One goes out.......
While Mr. Pidggy's fate was being sealed, another wildlife story was brewing in my very own bedroom (wait a minute....get your head out of the gutter). Within the first couple of weeks of living here in San Diego, I was gifted a couple of shells that I found absolutely stunning (remember I am a beach rookie, so stunning is a relative term!!). To add to my growing collection, I picked up a third one day while down at the beach and was contemplating an art project I’d like to do with this one in particular. This shell was different. I found the colors sharp and rich, and so fine that I thought the shell looked the way most do after you coat it with some nice clear paint or shellac. Not at all your typical beach find.
Fast forward a month and a half. The shell had been living on my nightstand happily with it’s two other cohorts when one morning I woke up to find it stuck to my table with a fragile film. I gasped as I thought my shell had contained a creature and I had, in my ignorance, killed it while I slept. I examined the inside and found what looked to be the remains of a nice little snail and I felt terrible, but left it sitting on my table for another few days feeling like a neglectful murderer. 3 days later, the shell was again stuck to my table, and I thought things were getting weird. It was clearly dead, wasn’t it?? A couple more days passed and I found the shell stuck to the side of my table. Enough idiocy, I took the shell into the bathroom, filled up the sink with a little water, and let the little creature come out and play…..which he eventually did. No wonder the shell was richly colored and beautiful. It was still housing a living animal!!
The irony is that I tried very hard to help the pigeon and sweated and worried over it's situation and he died. Yet, through neglect, I managed to keep a pet snail alive in my room for over 2 months, without it (really) going anywhere, dying, or even slugging me in my sleep!! Too bad I really love birds and am kind of grossed out by snails. Here's a shot of the dumb snail slouching away to do whatever it is they do in our yard. I'm sure he's adding to the ecology of the neighborhood in a myriad of useful ways. Unfortunately, one of them is not a contributing member of the food chain, where birds like Mr. Pidggy can slurp him up for breakfast, even with only half a beak.