Old Peg Leg from 2002

A posting of an old story from an early website. old Peg leg Updated 02/03/02 A couple of months ago (around the first of Sept. 01) I went out on the patio where Sherry was and she said, "look at that silly bird, it keeps falling down". It was walking along the gravel path in the back yard and it would fall over into the slight ditch along the path., get right back up walk a little more then just fall over. A day or two later we were on the patio and there it was again, stumbling though the cactus garden- step, step, then fall. We watched closely and discovered that this poor bird only had one foot. One leg and foot were normal but the other one was short and didn't have any foot. You can imagine how we felt after having a lot of laughs at this bird's expense without realizing that it was doing all it could to get around. The bird was very small about the size that you'd expect to have recently left the nest. We were a little concerned that a neighborhood cat or other predator might have an easy meal of this little fellow. For a few days we'd see the little fellow in the back moving through the cactus and I threw out some leftover chips and crackers a couple of times where he could get to them without being in a dangerously exposed position. A week or so went by without a sighting so we thought that something had happened to it. Then we were on the side patio and there he was hanging on to a limb in the tree and singing loudly. Now we are not bird experts but some people around here refer to this species as mocking birds as they do have an extended repertoire and can be very loud. We enjoyed seeing and hearing our friend and knowing he was still with us. Then again he disappears and we hoped that he was off doing whatever more mature birds of that species do as they grow. Yesterday evening I was enjoying the sunset while relaxing in the back and a silly bird flew down and was hopping around on the bar stools a few feet from me. I thought " that dumb bird- I'm sitting right here and you're messing around within my reach". I started talking to it and whistling and he just looked at me and hoped down to the patio floor and hobbled over to within a about 18" of where I rocked in my chair. I continued talking and whistling to him and he looked up and sat for a while. I finally looked closely to notice that he only had one foot. He was navigating very well and had grown to a fine looking specimen of whatever species he is. He stayed around for a while then hoped over the cactus garden and went back into the small cactus like he had done when he was small and checked it all out just like the old days. After a while he flew up and away and one would never have known that he had a problem in the world. It was a real treat to have a visit from an old friend that was doing so well after a very hard beginning in life. During Robin & Mikes' visit peg leg made an appearance while we were sitting on the patio. There was an un-emptied garbage can with remains from the "clan meeting" sitting there and low and behold who should decide it was time for a snack but old ( really young) peg leg. He/she ( I'm not sure yet ) landed on the edge and hopped around to top edge of the garage can looking for the specific morsels of party remains that appealed to him. It was quite a sight for him to hop around and then dive in for a bite then back to the edge of the can to finish and then hop around looking for more. After what appeared to be enough for full meal for one of that size he looked over at us and then flew off. Old peg leg pays regular visits to the side patio and ?sings? - often we can see him there while we have coffee early in the morning. It's really a treat to observe a creature so handicapped, survive and prosper.

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