ESSAY

Week 2

Buddy

by John, an incarcerated CLF member

She arrived early Monday morning: homeless, forlorn-looking, carried by the maintenance worker who had found her. By afternoon, she had perked up and was attentive and active.

In fact, she had become comfortable enough that it seemed she liked being held, but that may have been because of the air conditioning and her lack of feathers. Still she would nestle down in my cupped hand and go to sleep.

By evening, she was exploring her new surroundings energetically, scurrying around the room, exercising all her muscles. Her appetite bordered on ravenous.

When darkness fell, and she settled in for the night—in my left shoe—the world seemed at peace. Apparently, that’s the way she died: peacefully during the night. There was no indication of any problems when she nestled herself into my shoe, and I checked on her every time I awoke.

Few will miss this awkward, ragged-looking, not-yet-fledged baby starling. But I will.

Buddy was loved for a day, if only by me. But that’s more than some beings on this planet get. And she brought joy to several people in that short time. I suspect that her mother grieves her missing child. I know I do. But I also know that I was blessed by the little time that our lives touched. I hope she was as well.