by Jake Barnes

My wife is at a conference in Las Vegas. Fortunately, when the bird hits the sliding glass doors in our den, I know what to do. My wife told me. It happens every once in a while. A bird gets spooked by something, and wham! It hits the glass and drops like a stone.


What I do is get a shoe box with holes in it. It's on a shelf in the laundry room. I put the bird in the box and leave it alone for a while. It may be dead; it may be just knocked out.


This time the victim is a mourning dove. Most of the birds that hit the window are doves; sometimes it's a Big Dummy. A Band tail.


I grab the box and go running outside. There's a folded hand towel in the bottom of the box. I lay the dove on the towel and put the top on the box. My wife has poked holes in the box to let in air. I put the box in the laundry room and close the door.


I wait fifteen, twenty minutes, fetch the box, and take it out on the deck. When I take the top off the box, the bird jumps into the air and flies away. I am elated. It is my first “save.”


That night my wife calls from Sin City and tells me that it was a hassle getting a room, but she and her friend, a nurse practitioner, are doubling up. She tells me that her boss, a doctor who is the spitting image of Woody Allen, said she could stay in his room, but she said no.


I tell her about the bird.