Written by Debbie Spear of Washington
We were newly stationed overseas in Germany. I was taking my first venture out to go shopping in Kaiserslautern, Germany. I was nervous as I drove into the heart of the shopping district — my destination was the major downtown department store parking garage. The area was extremely busy with traffic as I made my way into the lane that would take me up the ramp into the garage.
Something in my peripheral vision caught my eye — to my immediate right, on the edge of the sidewalk, lay a small bird with wings outstretched and lightly struggling. I could not get into that garage and park fast enough so I could get to that little bird. Of course I didn’t find a parking spot until I reached the top floor — then I had to take the elevator down to the street level, making stops at every floor. I had no idea which door to head out. I raced around the outside of the building until I spotted it. I knelt down and gently cupped it in my hands. My hands were shaking slightly as I walked back through the department store and rode the elevator back up to the parking garage level where I had parked. I wrapped the little bird in a large paper napkin and set it on the passenger seat of my car, and headed for home.
When I picked up the little bundle to take it in the house, I noticed a dark purplish stain on the napkin. I was afraid the little thing had internal injuries from a possible window impact, but I was wrong. It was drunk as a skunk from eating fermented berries or grapes in the countryside. This was wine country after all! So I set the little thing in a basket of soft tissues, draped a tea towel over it and set it out in the sun in my backyard.
I checked on it frequently throughout the afternoon. The little bird was sleeping soundly. On my last check, I slowly pulled the towel aside to see a wide awake, sober pair of eyes returning my stare. It promptly flew out of the basket and onto the top of the fence. Incredibly, another identical bird flew over to within a few feet of my little hungover friend. They stayed around for about 20 minutes before they both flew off in the same direction.
Though my fledgling shopping trip was cut short, I was thrilled to help out a feathered friend in need of a designated driver.