Saw a being come into life today. Or was it life come into being?
At 6 a.m., Eastern Standard Time, I trudged to the bathroom, opened the door, and felt an immense heat pour out. A space heater was running. And, there was a lamp pointed toward a cardboard box that once held 24 cans of Fancy Feast cat food.
A tiny chick peeped!
Is “peep” is the correct word? I don’t know. It made a tiny “chick” noise and I looked closely at the creature. Two parts of an egg-shell lay split behind it. Funny. I thought my son had gotten rid of the shell when three of the eggs had hatched the other day. He gave two away to a friend at a chicken facility. And, this must have been the one he kept. The one in poor in health.
I placed my finger at its beak. It touched me. I noticed some feed that my son, Nicholas, had crumpled up. It was in a plastic container. Instinctively, I wet the same finger the chick had pecked, got crumpled seed to adhere, and placed my food-caked finger to the beak. I felt the bird “lick” me!
I ain’t lyin’!
It opened its mouth and knocked off some crumbs, and immediately scrambled for a fallen crumb. It ate! It ain’t sick no mo’! Matter of fact, it also pooped. It’s working from both ends, I told myself.
Gently, oh so gently, I picked up the critter and petted it. Was I suppose to pet a chick? Cats and dogs like it. Why not fowl? It felt comfortable in my hand. It felt like it didn’t mind being touched. Didn’t mind feeling the warmth of another sentient being no matter how weird and ferocious it appeared.
Was I its mother? Wait a minute. That’s only for the first being it comes into contact with, isn’t it?
Well, a few minutes later, I learned I might be a mom. I went into my son’s room, got him out of bed (6:05 on a Saturday morning!). I told him the poor chick just ate; that it must be feeling good.
Entering the bathroom, he saw the chick, and told me it was a new-born. That the other one had fallen some four feet from the bureau and had trouble with its legs or back. And, that the chick I fed hatched overnight, sometime after Nick went to sleep and I awoke.
“Where’s the other one?” my son asked. Moving items off the top of the vanity, we couldn’t find it. Looked on the floor and beside and behind the vanity. “There it is,” the eagle-eyed son exclaimed, picking up the fluff of yellow from near the doorway. It had fallen again and made its way some four feet across the linoleum bathroom floor. I hope it had hit the padded rug on its way down.
The new one kept chirping as we placed it into a separate box. Wouldn’t stop the whole time I shaved and showered. Kneeling on the floor in my birthday suit, I talked to it, gently put it back with the other bird, and it quieted, snuggling next to its sibling, enjoying the contact of another sentient being.
Sometimes, all you really need in life is a gentle touch from someone, something.