Taking in Valiant

March 19, 2009
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My house was with all the others that surrounded the neighborhood. I had one neighbor that lives behind me. It was a relaxation day, the birds singing, the quails dodging cars and hopping away into bushes. Everyone-or at least a lot of people-were probably playing indoors or avoiding the blazing sun.

My brother, Wyatt, and I were one of those people who didn't feel in the mood to be outdoors. We were downstairs playing video games. At about five-thirty my dad came downstairs, and he told us that my mom caught something outside. My brother and I were full of curiosity, what could it be? Is it real? Or is it a toy? Who knew, we went up the stairs jumping two at a time. We reached the kitchen and my parents stood there craning their necks over a box, to get a better look. We raced to get the first look, but we tied. We asked our mom how she got it, she told us it was just in the backyard and it looked like it was in danger, so she got a big dishtowel and went to go and pick it up. But it didn't fly away it just limped away, its one wing spread out and the other one just tucked away. It looked so vulnerable.

We pushed our way to get a better look, it had a purple head and as the color ran down its neck it blended into a glossy green. It was beautiful looking, but its black beady eyes ruined its good looks. It was a vulnerable -but beautiful- pigeon. It was tweeting in agony as we all stared at it. We were probably scaring it. It was maybe wondering why all these big human heads staring at it.

Wyatt and I were thinking of names that would go best with it, eventually we came up with Valiant. My parents promised we could keep him until he was well enough to fly on his own. When we were done admiring it, we left it on the counter in the plastic bin. To keep it away from our dogs-west highland white terriers- they were barking at the intruder that has enter under our roof, we kept trying to shush them up, but they wouldn't stop. So we put them outside for a while, enough time to find a good safe place to put Valiant. We ended up putting it in the garage where the dogs don't usually go to.

When we enter into the house again I was buzzing up a conversation on how to help Valiant live a bit longer we suddenly found out that the bird had a broken wing. We asked our mom to see if she knew why. She only had a guess on why it limped and not fly away from intruders, "When I went out to get it, I saw that fat fluffy, black and white cat lurking on our property. She was looking as if she was ready to pounce on the poor little bird. So I assumed that the cat got to it once and damaged that right wing very badly, I don't think that wing can get fixed," she said, sadly.

"Yeah, I know a friend that has a lot of pet pigeons so I could go ask what we could do with that wing, see if there is any way to fix it. I will try and set an appointment sometime. I will meet him first thing tomorrow morning. Now go and wash your hands, it is dinner time." my dad said abruptly. Walking over to the oven and bending over to take out the pizza, the smell filled the air quickly, it smelled so good. That my stomach couldn't help but growl.
I laughed with my family, when my brother told a funny joke, that I hardly got, we were almost finished with the cheese pizza. There was only a couple of pieces left. I couldn't finish my fifth piece, i felt like I was over stuffing myself, which I probably am.

After we were done eating, I helped clean up the kitchen. My brother, of course, went downstairs to play video games. I swear he is an addict to video games, on any electronic. My mom went to laundry room, to feed the puppies 'cause they were out of dog food. My dad helped me clean up the kitchen.

When we were done putting the dishes away and cleaning up. I looked at the clock on the microwave. Wow, I thought, amazed. It can't really be seven-thirty, can it? I was suddenly tired with all the excitement and new discoveries. Luckily, tomorrow is Sunday, no school till Tuesday, perfect. . .

I woke up when the light entered my room, the sun was waking up and probably a lot of other people too. I got of my bed quickly and got dressed-church doesn't start till two o'clock. I went through my bedroom door, once I went onto the wooden floor I tiptoed to my brother's room, to wake him up. But when I stepped into his room, he stirred in his bed. I paused, but then thought better of it, and walked at my normal pace. I didn't care if I made noise. He was already waking up, so who cares. When I reached his bed I shook it with all my might and whispered, "Earthquake!"

He turned around in his bed and glared at me, I laughed softly at his expression. That seemed to make him smile, like he knew why I came into his room. He nodded, I did the same, and turned on my heel and walked out. I couldn't stop shaking with excitement.

I leaned my back against the wall a little away from Wyatt's room. I listened to him scrounging around for some clean clothes-I should say scrounging around for some clothes, to him there isn't a difference. I think I think I heard him trip and fell flat on his face. I chuckled softly, careful not to wake my parents, and I finally pushed my back off the wall and headed back towards Wyatt's bedroom door.
I lightly knock on his door, he seemed to hear me, 'cause he answered only in his pants, and he was shirtless. I took a step backward and the first thing that came to my mind, came out of my mouth before I could stop it. 'Nice,' I couldn't help the automatic eyebrow raise. 'Why don't you go get a clean shirt on so we can go.' I turned around but stayed rooted in spot and waited for Wyatt to get a shirt. I don't know why I needed to turn around, when he needs only a shirt. Well guys will be guys. But still I politely averted my eyes. Let them to their privacy.
Wyatt, obviously, stumbled around to find a shirt. I waited patiently for a few minutes, when I couldn't take it any longer. I did a 180 and walked into his room, on the way in I was grumbling, 'Honestly! It isn't the hardest thing in the world, to just find a shirt, clean or not!' I went straight to his closet, and grabbed the first thing my hand could find at first it was pants. Then underwear, gross! Then finally, a shirt. It was dark green and black long sleeves hooked to the green t-shirt. I told Wyatt to come here, he was in the corner of the room searching through a pile of dirty laundry. He came over obediently and I shoved the shirt over his head, he winced in pain while some parts of his hair got stuck. Finally we were all set.
We snuck out of Wyatt's room and into the hallway. The railing was on our right. My bedroom was on our left. We kept walking quietly, well I was at least Wyatt on the other hand was walking casually not caring that he might wake up parents. His feet were flopping like duck feet on the floor, I felt like a ghost because I wasn't even making a sound. We crossed the living room into the kitchen there was a small hallway that went diagonally towards the garages.
We reached the garage that had Valiant. I turned the door knob, suddenly I remembered, whenever we open or close a door or garage there is this little beep that signals entry or exiting. I turned around and put my index finger to my lips to my brother. He understood, I turned back to the door knob and slowly turned it. I pulled it open a little bit, and there it was the beep, with strained ears for any movement I pulled the rest of the door open and stepped out of the way for Wyatt to go through first. He entered I followed him out of the house and into garage.
We looked where we put the pigeon last and there it was in the small box looking around franticly. I smiled at Wyatt, who mirrored my expression. I looked a little farther in and saw there were white dots everywhere. I suddenly realized what it was. Gross! Bird crap! I wrinkled up my nose in a disgust look. All I could say was 'Eew! Gross!' and Wyatt laughed really loud which I was sure to wake up our parents. I suddenly got pissed, I didn't know why, and I turned to face Wyatt. He was still snickering when I told him, 'Wyatt! Why don't you have a look for yourself?' That shut him up, I smiled mischievously and pointed towards the small cardboard box. He frowned at me and went to look for himself.
'Eew, you know Cassidy if you need to go to the bathroom you could just you the toilet. You don't need to go all caveman on me.' I took a step back like I was slapped, and my smile was swiped off my face. I glared at Wyatt. He smiled and shrugged, 'just saying.'
I shrugged it off, I could beat him up later now is the time to have fun with a bird! I started to reach towards the box when a voice sounded behind me. I did a 180 turn and looked right into the face of my dad. He smiled warmly at me and Wyatt and said, 'I thought you guys would be in here really early. You always do,'

I smiled back, 'well I, I mean, we were wondering if we could play with Valiant, so can we?' inside my mind I was hoping it would be a 'yes' or something good.

He seemed to read my mind and said, 'sure, I don't see any danger just make sure you wash your hands after your done with him.' He turned to go and started then paused, 'oh, and we would have breakfast at nine.' After that he went through the door without a backward look.

I turned my attention back to the bird, which was tweeting softly but still running around franticly. I returned to reaching towards him, when I got closer he was becoming more and more frantic, I finally got him after a slight struggle, and took him out of the box and set him down on the garage floor. He ran around the garage for awhile, we started chasing him around seeing who can catch him first.

After we had breakfast-which were pancakes- we headed back out. Only this time we opened the garage and let him out. We kept an eye on him and kept him out of danger. When it was one-thirty in the afternoon I got ready for church. When it was ten to I left for church.
A week has past and we did the usual stuff with Valiant we took him for daily walks and found out that he likes eating corn. We also found out, from my dad's friend the one who has like a gazillion trained pigeons, that Valiant has a permanent broken wing there is no way to fix it. It was the same thing the day before. Except now we let him wander and we no longer keep him in a box.

I rushed through the front door only seconds before I just got home from school and now I had to leave with my dad to the hardware store. Great, I thought. Just great I already have enough on my mind. I jumped the staircase, and ran to my dad's car, which was black ford, and opened the passenger door and hopped in and shut the door behind me. My dad backed out of the driveway and onto the street.
As my dad pulled up onto the driveway-we had already done the shopping, we didn't get a lot of stuff but still I was being squashed. Suddenly our dogs came running out to the truck, my dad stomped on the brake. Huh, that's weird the dogs are locked up; now how did they escape? We opened our doors and had the dogs jump into our laps. We petted them and greeted them and Rye, of course, peed on the chair. I laughed and dad said, 'Eh, Rye!'

'Dad, how did they get out?' I asked, surely that fence thing is loose somewhere. But where?

'I don't know, we might want to check.' He was a little worried.

I hopped out and Razz followed me to the backyard. My question was quickly answered the gate to the little fence thing on the deck was open. But what caught my eye was feathers, everywhere! It went all the way to our backyard neighbors(we haven't put up a fence to separate our yards, their yard was full of grass ours was dirt, plain dirt). My eyes traced the feathers trail and ended on a lump in their yard by their in-the-ground tramp and slide. I walked a little closer to the lump and gasped, there was Valiant lying there, motionless. It looked like his head was under his body, but I didn't want to see for sure.
I turned and ran back to my dad; I pushed my legs to the limit and just ran till I accidently ran into him. I started to fall backward but his strong steady hands kept me from falling. I tried to talk but I was so exhausted and couldn't breathe.
'Catch your breath then tell me what happened,' his hand wiped my cheek and I didn't realized I was crying. Tears were spilling over my cheeks and fell onto the concrete where they left dark spots.
When I could breathe again and control my tears I said, 'well, I just saw that the gate was somehow unlocked and they must've pushed it opened it. Then I s-saw. . . V-Valiant.' It was difficult to just say the bird's name, I didn't know why. The picture of the motionless bird flew by my mind, but I pushed it away.
My dad nodded, 'Ok, the dogs must have gotten to him. Why don't you go get a trash bag, and meet me out back.' He started walking and I ran the opposite direction.
I quickly grabbed the first trash bag I could grab, and ran through the back door. I pushed open the gate and went straight to my dad. Averting my eyes from the body I handed the bag to him. He took it and I noticed that he was wearing rubber gloves, well I should have known that would you want to pick up a dead bird with bare hands? Nuh-uh I wouldn't that's for sure.
He started to pick up the body first and that's when I noticed that it was a headless Valiant! Scary and gross! I had to swallow to keep my vile back. I looked around for the head and found it by the slide. Eew, glad the neighbors are on a vacation. When my dad was done he tied the bag shut and walked back to the garage to throw it away. He left all the feathers, the wind was probably going to blow them away eventually. I shrugged and followed my dad without a backward glance, I promised myself I was never going to think of Valiant's death ever again. I will just move on with life.
I learned not to take in any birds, well if you do then to keep it in a safe place if you have any kind of pets. You don't want the same crisis happen to you too. Trust me. You could probably take it to the vet or something. Just be careful of what you do with it, every choice you make could possibly put its life in danger.




The End





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