Trapped


Shelly came home from work last night, and immediately asked me to come out to the garage with her. We kept the dogs from following us, and I knew it was something special.

indexTrapped inside our garage was a hummingbird. It had flown in the open doorway, and now seemed panicked by the car in the garage with it. It banged into the walls of the garage, trying to find a way out, all the while making plaintiff little squeaking noises. Shelly and I tried to get it to go out the doorway, but finally she left the task in my hands.

First, I drove her car back out of the garage so that the entrance was larger. Then I opened up the other garage door so that there was twice the opening. But the little hummingbird was so panicked that all it could do was bang into the wall in the opposite direction, making no headway and doing nothing but hurting itself. I could see that it was beginning to trail cobwebs from all the times it had ran through them in the garage.

bunnyIt reminded me of another situation a few months ago in our back yard. I was on our riding mower, mowing the back yard, when a baby cottontail bunny became trapped between the roaring lawn mower and the wooden fence. He ran back and forth along the fence, trying to get out, but couldn’t find an exit. I, in the meantime, worried about what would happen when our dogs would come into the yard.

The solution was obvious in my mind, even if it wasn’t in the bunnies. I got off the lawn mower, trapped the little bunny and picked him up in my big hands. I always find it fascinating how small animals become quite docile once they are caught. The bunny was smaller than the palm of my hand. I carried him over to the edge of the yard, gently dropped him into the wild area beyond our lawn, and set him free. He hesitated for a second then disappeared.

The hummingbird wasn’t much different. I decided that he couldn’t figure things out for himself. I waited until he got himself into a corner, then reached up with a cupped hand and trapped him. I gently took the little bird outside and opened up my hand. He was gone in an instant, making a beeline (birdline?) into the clear, blue, open sky.

Where am I going with this? Nowhere special, other than the obvious: sometimes we need a little help. That help might initially look like the end of everything. But it doesn’t have to be. And until we accept it, we will continue banging our heads into the corner.

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