Here's the story I got:
My Mother, Al, found a bird.
A baby bird.
It was not well. Fell out of the nest, or was sat upon, or something. She wasn't sure.
Now mind you, this would have been the offspring of one of the demonic creatures she curses daily for 'evacuating' on her car. Seriously, it's like the only place in the neighborhood birds poop. She's had 4 different vehicles in the last 10 years, and they all seem to have an invisible target on their roofs.
So what does she do? She brings the bird into the house.
Wait, it gets better!
With the aid of my Father, she makes it a little bed. They feed it with an eye dropper.
An EYE DROPPER, people!
And how 'bout my Father, aiding and abetting?
This is the woman who got rid of our precious, beautiful Siamese cats because they miaowed.
(That's meow, in Siamese.)
Who took said Siamese cats to the vet to be 'fixed', and declawed, because they were messy.
(They may have been tearing up furniture.)
I went with her to pick them up. When the little cat saw us she
screamed uncontrollably miaowed endlessly while we gathered them up and paid the hefty bill. The noise was deafening.
Al glared at me, and ordered us all outside.
I said, "C'mon Nico, we better get the heck out of here before she has your tongue removed too!"
And now she's adopting baby birds.
Birdlette, in the house.
And here's why:
There's an old Italian superstition that birds in the house bring bad luck.
She would not have a plate, cup, dishcloth, anything at all with a bird on it come into the house. Ever. In my entire life, I've never seen anything in that house with a bird on it.
" Oh, that's beautiful! Too bad it has a bird on it."
Ma (that's our Grandmother) was even worse. She wouldn't even look at a bird.
And now, there is Birdlette.
Well, it seems that Birdlette was the one with the bad luck; he didn't make it.
Trying real hard not to comment here about what they might have been feeding little Birdlette. I shudder to think of the braciole and moradel they were stuffing into it's tiny little beak.
So Al is talking on the phone to Uncle Carmen. She tells him about poor little Birdlette, who she rescued, and sin of all sins, brought into the house to recuperate (or, you know, die).
She expresses some anxiety about having a bird in the house; the old superstition, you know.
He says, "Oh, I think you're alright. I think it's just if the bird gets in and dies..."
She hadn't told him that part yet.
No good deed goes unpunished.
p.s. Last I heard, they didn't know what to do with Birdlette. He was in a ziploc bag on her desk.
I'm putting 'research nursing homes' on my to-do list.