“There’s a hole in the sky so the heavens can cry down on me…”

It’s raining, in case you haven’t guessed. A big clap of thunder woke me up last night, and then it poured. This morning the grass and flowers were all sodden and the leaves sagging from the weight of raindrops. The sky is the color of lead.

A bird flew into the house – I left a window open to air the rooms out a bit. Maybe he wanted to come in out of the rain! He left right away – I guess he didn’t like Auguste barking at him. Auguste was Very upset that a bird dared come into the house. It might have been a barn swallow – they build their nests in barns under the rafters.
My daughter found a nest one day that a cat had knocked down. The mother bird was just a pile of feathers – nothing left. The babies somehow survived the fall and my daughter gathered them up (there were three of them – tiny, almost bald, ugly things with gaping yellow mouths and wild eyes) We shoved some bread soaked in milk down their gullets, and then wondered what to do with them. The babies, stuffed full, hiccoughed softly, blew bubbles of milk, and fell asleep.
My daughter and I went back to the stables to search for another nest. We found one that I could reach with a step ladder – & there were already three babies in it. I started to slip the orphans into the nest, one by one, when I noticed the mother swallow not four feet away from me. She was sound asleep, her head tucked under her wing. Thank goodness my daugther and I hadn’t been talking or making noise. We finished and tip-toed away. For a day we stayed clear, not daring to hope. Two days later we went to the stall and looked up. Mother and father swallow were busy feeding their brood – of 6 baby birds! They hadn’t noticed the additions – or didn’t care. Our three orphans survived!

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