Numchucks: The Legend Ch. 17byMy Erotic Tail©
(Lone Star: the one legged Mockingbird)
"Look at that bird!" Sandra said as I noticed it too. A small (young) Mockingbird was not running from a car that drove right next to it. Then it's left wing only, went out and stayed as if to balance itself. I got out of the car from the drivers side at the drive thru window of Dairy Queen. Walked up to the bird which then did flee but in a circle which brought him right back to me.
I scooped the bird up and held it lightly cupped in my hands. It was obviously at the age to learn to fly and had broken its wing and one leg which dangled loosely from him. Not knowing what to do I first offered the bird to the workers of this establishment. They refused it so Sandra and I took it home.
We called the Vet and they recommended we put the bird back or make it as comfortable as possible cause a wild bird will not make it with a broke wing and leg. And will more than likely die in captivity. We called the State of Texas to report having found this animal (Mockingbirds are the State bird )and they too said the bird would perish. The future of this little mockingbird was very grim.
Sandra went and found out all she could on the Internet about mockingbirds. What they eat and how they live and where. Likes and dislikes. While I went to playing doctor and clipped the loose leg that was dying and drying and causing him more problems. After removal of his leg I patched his wing really good.
Sandra and I owned several parakeets and cockateels as we moved around so we had a very large breeding cage out back that we put together in the living room of the house and fixed it up for his needs. Water, bread, seeds and an easy to walk on flooring while still able to clean by removing newspapers.
Sandra purchased a container for crickets at the bait shop that was half way from town to home every few days we would stock back up. Phillip was the grasshopper man. He would make daily walks to find grasshoppers for him and I was the worm man. I already had some prime spots where I would get some nice size nightcrawler worms for fishing on the way to the lake. The worms varied in size which gave this mockingbird ample food supply.
I never knew a wild bird ate so much. More than the common house bird. And the fact that they ate live insects was what made it even more of a challenge. But after a couple weeks we realized that this bird was going to make. He was already making leaping hops out of the cage which we never shut the front door. It needed to have all the room a wild bird could get. So this bird quickly adjusted to having only one leg and one wing. Which the wing healed quickly so I question it's break.
But 'one of the family' this bird became so we had to name it. Sandra came up with the perfect name of "Lone Star," since the mockingbird is the state bird of Texas. The Lone Star State.
He became known as Lone Star, the one legged Mockingbird. He would have full run of the house and this wasn't difficult at first. But soon Lone Star was diving and landing on Numchuck's back. Or on my head. My Camo Baseball cap would be like a magnet for his clumsy landings. As he got around more and more he began pecking everything. Especially my hat or the dogs. For being so small this little bird was afraid of nothing.
Wings flapping with flashes of white all through the house. We were able to pin him up and close the door when guests came to visit. Which was a big help, but everyone wanted to see the bird fly through the house and land near enough they could try and pet it. Only to get pecked in the process.
Numchucks did let the little pecker know that he was bigger and a hunter of birds one day when he had his fill of the pesky pecks. But as I recall a time when he was back in retriever training that a small baby purple martin had fallen from its nest out under the tin boat sling. I sent Numchucks out into the water to get the baby bird. Numchucks swam up to it and took it into its mouth and swan back to me. I was astounded to find the bird totally intact and energetically unharmed. Numchuck's soft mouth training paid off again. The purple martin was placed back in the nest and so was Lone Star (unharmed)
Lone Star learned to fly well and worked into a routine of outings of the cage while we were they're. He did become domesticated to a degree but always had his wildside. Unpredictable would be the best way to describe it. Always move slow not to intimidate any creature. But even when they have been around you awhile they don't understand pecking someone hurts.
I was even leaving the front door open and letting Lone star hear the other Mockingbirds when they were around and being noisy. Even had a smaller cage that we would put him in and set him outside when he got to singing. Mockingbirds are vocal and loud. He seem to have made a few friends and one day while the door was open he made a flying soar out the door and as he glided across the front yard like a rock out of a sling shot. A gust of wind came and took Lone Star straight up into the air and then drifted off past the house and on into the wild blue yonder.
I had made calls back and forth with Lone star for months now so It was like calling a dog. I'd whistle then I would hear Lone Star's distinct loud cackle. It was as if he hadn't been taught proper bird linguistics and just screamed, "Help."
I found him and saw he was halfway up a tall pine tree. And no matter how much I called he didn't come down. After a very long time he fell from his current perch down wards for a few more feet. Landing in a clump of leaves and branches still high above. So I eventually and reluctantly climbed the tree and retrieved "Lone Star" from his little joy ride. As I got to the bottom and cradled the mockingbird into my arms I saw Numchucks looking at me a bit funny. Perhaps he was impressed with that retrieve and was trying to figure out how to do that."
Lone Star the one legged mockingbird died of reasons no one knows. He didn't show any signs of being ill. Was energetic as ever but one day he just never woke up. He lived way way longer than anybody thought. He truly became an inspiration to us all. For to be so small and handicapped with one leg and taken out of his element and domesticated. An Icon for the will to survive. As unnatural as it maybe, a friend to Numchucks. The big black lab's back was the easiest target for Lone Star to make his crash landings. Which may be why lone star took to Numchucks more than the smaller, other dogs.
When ever I hear a singing Mockingbird or the flash of white as they fly. I always salute the brave little birds. The State bird and I recall Lone Star the one legged Mockingbird.