Friday, June 15, 2007

Bird by bird

It's not often we find ourselves overwhelmed with the generosity of strangers. Then again, it's not often we find ourselves coated in rotted leaves and inside a storm sewer with baby ducks.

But this week, birds with broken wings and lost newborn Mallards were this giant, universal force that connected entire Minneapolis neighborhoods, cultures, and generations. Yes, those little mythological winged creatures that live in our skyscraper mountains and hop along our concrete prairies and asphalt rivers brought out young people, old people, Somali and Hispanic immigrants, and what we believe was a 1200-year-old wizard who held baby carrots in his pocket and magic in his long, white beard.

In fact, in two short days, people who didn't speak the same language randomly came together to enter storm sewers, or to scoop up a pigeon (like, they put flying rats in their hands!) that suffered from a broken wing and some serious deliriousness. And there they'd wait together, the wizard puffing on his pipe, until they could be certain that the birds were freed from what was sure to be their grave. What, you say? Ducklings that fell through a grate, one-by-one, like video game characters, and an out-of-its gourd pigeon brought together at least 30 people united in the same cause? Yes! It's true! And folks (and dear fowl!), does it get any better than that?

Sure, there are a handful of wonderful things happening around town this weekend (tonight's show at the Turf, and the Stone Arch festival come to mind), but we couldn't help but be all giddy about the very place where we live and the lovely people, and our feathered friends, who live there with us.

Save the birds: