We Loved You, Bob White


Our tiny friend Bob White (the quail) died today–one little bird that in the wild has less than a year life expectancy. He came in the spring and adopted our chickens as family, but we worried when he showed up one afternoon with a gash on his proud chest. Bob wouldn’t let me catch him then. He just scuttled around speaking in the opinionated voice he had. But with the cold yesterday he teetered my way and let himself be easily picked up. I hoped for the best and kept him bundled close to my heart and every so often he’d glance up with his dark eyes and coo as if whispering the last little secrets he had in the world. It’s a silly little bird, I know, but he charmed me all summer long. I’d taken to checking up on him with a flashlight at night in the coop. How can one small creature meant only for a brief life make life seem so sad when he’s gone?

Does it matter that he died in my hand greatly loved or that he did, in his bird way, speak his final words to someone who tried to understand him? Little deaths all around sometimes make life more unbearable than anything else.


9 thoughts on “We Loved You, Bob White

      1. 🙂 My mother had a vicious yellow lab named Toby. He was very bad but loved my mother so she could never get rid of him. When he was sick and old she slept on the patio with him for a whole summer. She said it was something about his eyes.

      2. I have never, in all my days, heard of a lab of any kind being vicious! They are known for their intelligenct, sweet, and gentle dispositions, but I guess there are exceptions to every rule. 🙂 Their eyes are like melted pots of fine chocolate: hard to resist under any circumstance. Your mom couldn’t help herself.

    1. I think it’s also the feeling that these little creatures rely on us and for whatever reason they sometimes tame themselves and pick us as random friends. they’re precious surprise gifts.

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