The day had started out like any other. I spent the morning cleaning out my aquarium, amazed at how much water had managed to evaporate in one week. Bryan and I decided to go to the pet store to get a couple more fish.
I had found two nice fish that I wanted to buy, but the clerks were busy attending to a few rude shoppers. Just to pass some time we went into the back to look at the birds. We saw the most amazing thing!
As we were walking by a cage full of about twenty parakeets, a baby keet flew over to the side of the cage that we were on. It began to follow us! We walked around the large cage, and everywhere that we went that baby keet followed. I had never seen anything like it! I reached my hand over to the cage, expecting the bird to fly to the other side, terrified like all of the other birds were. It did not fly away! It bent its little head down practically begging for us to scratch its head. I was afraid it was going to hurt itself trying to get out of its cage! Needless to say I couldn’t leave without taking it home.
We brought it home and it was so attached to us it was almost as if it had been our bird for years. We named him Indy. I have never seen a bird play like this little bird played (and my mother is a parakeet breeder)! We let him outside and he just had a ball playing with all of the leaves and picking up every little twig that was on the patio. We let him play for a couple of hours, and that he did!
Shortly after that I went in to take a shower. All of a sudden, there was a knock on the door. “Rheana” Bryan said, “You need to get out here quick!” I came out side and Bryan had little Indy in the palm of his hand.
His body was limp and he couldn’t hold up his own head. He was dying…
It seems that sweet little Indy did not have the bottom half of his beak. Of course we did not notice this at the pet store. He possibly was born without it, or was mishandled at the pet store and it broke off. Whichever the case, the little bird had not eaten in quite some time. We tried to hand feed it, but without his bottom beak, the food would just run right out. I cried.
I went into the bedroom with little Indy in the palm of my hands. Bryan and I sat on the bed next to each other in silence, petting him softly. Neither of us said it, but we understood that Indy was going to die very soon, and we would stay there with him the entire time.
Just then I saw something that touched my soul. Indy’s head lifted straight up and his wings completely outstretched as if he were going to fly straight into the sky! At that instant he was gone, and I burst into tears.
I had actually felt in my hands the moment that he had gone, and his little body lay limp there once again.
Never before had I thought about a bird having a soul. But I believe that I felt it. What I saw that evening was probably the most eye-opening experience I’ve ever had.
I spend a good part of that evening trying to find the meaning of all of it. It seemed pretty rotten that I had fallen in love with this little bird, and six hours later he was lying in my hands. Then it dawned on me. How could I be so selfish to think that everything in my life happens to benefit me, or to make me stronger? As stupid as it might sound to some people, who is to say that the reason that it all happened was so Indy could be happy for the last few hours of his life? To die in the hands of people who cared, instead of being found the next morning in the bottom of the cage by a pet store clerk; who would see it as just another mess to clean up.
Of course, that made me think about the way I viewed my life. Everyone is always wondering what their purpose in life is and why things happen to them. Think about the fact that things (not bad things!; ie.death, evil, etc) that happen to you aren’t really about you at all; but for the benefit of others. I believe that people have more than one purpose in life. It could be ten it could be hundreds. Some may be greater than others, but all of them are important, to someone or something.
“Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”