Life can be cruel sometimes – and short

29 05 2012

The blue waxbill fledgling. One eye and no grasping reflex in the claws. Not a bright future…

Friday was Africa Day. One can only wonder what we were supposed to be celebrating, it’s not a holiday in South Africa. Coming back¬† home at around noon I noticed Kharma interested in something at the gate. It was a blue waxbill fledgling. “Oh well, that’s nature’s way” I thought. But after lunch curiosity got the better of me and I went out and picked it up. It was tiny; the body about the size of the last joint of my thumb. It had only one eye and the legs weren’t working too well either. I can identify with the latter problem and thought I really should give it a chance. Finding food was an issue and at first I tried ground-up sesame seeds off some biscuits but I guess they smelt a bit strong and it wouldn’t eat it.¬† I made a nest of shredded newspaper in a cardboard box and put a lamp against the box and left it for the night.

Saturday it was still alive so I went into town on the shopping run and stocked up on bird seed which I ground with a pestle and mortar and added a touch of water to make a paste. It still wasn’t interested. This was not looking good. Then at around 4 p.m. it started to take the paste off the end of a matchstick with gusto. This was actually looking hopeful! I put it to bed again but on Sunday morning it was dead. I don’t know what went wrong but it got full burial honours by the rose on Jenni’s grave.