This morning I came upon a little cardinal on a not-very-busy road. In the distance he was a spot of red on the pavement, and as I got closer I noted that it was a bird and that it would probably fly away any second. But it didn’t. When I got within twenty feet I could see that he might be an older bird; about half of his feathers were grayish brown. The wind blew and he fluttered, fell over, then with difficulty righted himself. His eyes were closed. He just stood there, swaying in the breeze. I couldn’t bring myself to take a photo, it just didn’t seem right.
I didn’t know what to do. Maybe he was stunned. But maybe he was dying? I was afraid if I went any closer I might frighten him, make his last moments on earth scary ones. And so I didn’t do anything. Cried a little. Then kept walking down the street.