What a lazy weekend it started off being today! FD and I had a busy day helping out friends on Friday, and did not get to bed until sometime after midnight. After being awakened by the phone ringing around 7:30 this morning, and getting up briefly to let the dogs out to do their morning business, I went back to bed and dozed some more. Finally, at 10:30 I noticed FD had coffee brewing. I got up too.
While I worked at preparing a simple breakfast of open-faced, egg sandwiches for us, FD stood out on the back porch, looking down below the slope to the canyon, where we often see Daisy deer and so many of the other woodland critters that frequent our place. Mornings are a wonderful time to sit back and relax in the cool breeze, while observing the hummingbirds that visit the coral honeysuckle vine blooming all around the porch rails. Often, there are grand battles where hummingbirds duel over territorial rights to the abundant honeysuckle and the two nectar feeders we keep at the back porch. At times, the fierce battles can even get a bit dangerous for a human bystander! Hummingbirds move like little jets, intent on defending their airspace and their nectar!
When I stepped out to let FD know breakfast would be ready in just a few minutes, I took note of how he stood, with coffee cup in hand, gazing out into the morning sun. He looked so relaxed and calm. I turned back to the kitchen, wondering why I always had to hit the ground running? Why could I not just “chill out” for a bit with my own coffee before rushing into the day? I did not ponder the thought too long, however, as I wanted to time everything just right, rather than overcook the eggs and spoil a perfect breakfast!
As I dished up FD’s plate, he walked in the back door with something in one hand. He explained that he had seen a pair of Mississippi Kites, flying lower than usual, apparently attacking some sort of bird in the air. After narrowly avoiding a strike, or two, or three, the victim dove into tall grasses near a fence line. The kites did not pursue the fallen object, but did continue their flight above. Stepping off the porch, FD meandered down to the weeds to see if he could find whatever it was the kites had been after.
In his hand was a small, but very alert, little bat. FD explained the bat was so well camouflaged that he almost did not see it. He had discovered it laying on its back, perhaps defending itself, or maybe it simply needed to rest. FD gently picked it up, careful to grasp it from behind, keeping two fingers to each side of its head, so that it could not turn to bite him. FD has a special “whispering” way with animals. It is as if he knows how to calm them, and how to handle them respectfully, and the animal seems to understand this as well.
Of course, I took a couple of photographs to show the small size of our new little friend. Its teeny, tiny teeth looked very sharp, and its beady, little eyes made this bat look just a bit intimidating! FD and I both agreed he probably just needed to recuperate a while on the back porch, and perhaps he would fly off of his own accord whenever he was rested and ready. As it turned out, we did not have to wait very long at all! As soon as FD released the little bat, he flew off as bats do – zig-zagging and flippity-dooing through the air and on into the woodland trees. What a beautiful sight to see! I bid him farewell, hoping he could manage to stay away from the Mississippi Kites, raptors who often prey on insects and small mammals in our part of the country.
Thinking back on the morning’s event, I wondered how many times FD or I happened to be in the right place at the right time to rescue an animal, or step forth to help a friend in need. Sometimes it required very little to get an animal back on its feet, such as an offer of just a bit of respite from the heat, cold, or to relieve the animal’s exhaustion. Now and then a friend might just need a little help, or an hour or two of our time. I thought about other situations in life, where we might be observant enough to recognize an opportunity to step forth and offer a simple act of kindness. How many times do we see an elderly person struggling to shop in a store? Do we offer to help them get what they need? What about times where someone might be picked on, taunted, or bullied? How often do we step forth to stop the activity or encourage better treatment? Numerous situations and observations in my life came to mind, where someone had come forth to help and assist me.
I hoped today, that our little bat friend was glad to have a human interject at maybe just the right moment. What if we had not slept in so late, and what if FD had not been enjoying his quiet time on the back porch at just the right moment? Would our batty little friend have been a raptor’s lunch by this time? It is not for me to question the timing of so many things in life… but I do wonder how many opportunities we are given to step forth, and offer a little bit of kindness – and how many of those we miss?
© Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…