I document my eighteen and a half years lived with a wild robin in 74 pages of pictures and story. His mischief entertained me, his loyalty endeared him to me, his death still grieves me.
The little yellow bowl is still on my kitchen counter top, tucked into the corner. When it wasn’t in Byrd’s cage, the bowl sat in that same corner for 18 years. Although the bowl is clean, the inside has a muddy discoloration and the outside is faded. It sits atop a round, translucent, plastic container lid—the same lid that I used to cover Byrd’s crunchy bird chow for so many years as it soaked to softness in a red container in the refrigerator. I notice the little, yellow bowl everyday as I prepare my own food. The bowl has been untouched for over a year. I can’t move it. I can’t touch it. The bowl is his. The space is his, too.
I don’t know what to do. If I neglect to write Byrd’s story and simply pack his bowl away, he will be forgotten and die again—his spirit pushed into a cold, lonely, insigniﬁcant whirlpool of darkness, screaming to escape. Conversely, I fear that my narrative will conjure him if he is resting peacefully in his grave.
Also by Douglas M. Del Zotto on obooko: