Too Close to the Sun

About three weeks ago, my dog caught a young House Finch and carried her around for a while. Hubs was able to get the poor finch out of the dog’s mouth, but we weren’t confident that she would recover.

I wrapped her up in a cozy blanket of paper towels and sat with her snuggled against my chest for about an hour before I set her down on the ground. Once I sat her down, she fluttered and tried to fly away. She was still damp from her time in the dog’s mouth, so, unfortunately, she was grounded until she could completely dry. I scooped her back up and set her in the crook of our Sugar Maple, where she would be safe until she could fly away. About an hour later, I returned to the tree and discovered that she had flown away.

The next day as I was sitting out with the kids and the dog, the same little finch landed on our patio and hopped over to say hello. I immediately shooed her away just before the dog snapped at her again. This pattern continued for several weeks. The little finch would arrive on our patio each morning and narrowly miss escape from the dog.

Yesterday, she finally pressed her luck too far, and the dog caught her once again. This time I couldn’t get him to let her go and unfortunately she didn’t survive. He eventually dropped her, but it was too late.

It reminds me of the Greek Myth of Icarus, who flew too close to the sun. I tried to save the little bird, but in the end, it was her undoing. I don’t know if birds truly possess the human characteristic of arrogance, but something caused her to flirt with disaster one too many times until it eventually consumed her.

It was sad to see my little finch friend meet her grisly end, but it is survival of the fittest after all.

selected focus photography of short beak brown bird in tree branch
Photo by Frank Cone on

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