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working writer wending her way through the labyrinth that is self-publishing

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Quail Chronicles Day 10

Yesterday afternoon, after watching the birds seeming to search for a way out of the yard, I opened the gate a smidgin. A while later I checked and they were gone and I closed the gate...I let the dog in the yard for a moment and then we went to neighbor's house for margaritas, taking the dog with us to play with his new best friend. When I came back I felt bereft without the quail to watch. I decided to open up the gate just in case. At 6:30 here they came, the entire family, including Maurice, back to roost! I was so relieved to see them! But now there were only 6 babies--how could they have lost one already, I thought to myself. I searched around outside the gate, listening for the telltale peeping of a lost chick but heard nothing.

I was taking a bath when I heard a loud unhappy peeping--baby chick, I thought, jumping out and pulling a towel around me. Must be outside the gate somewhere...but as I came into the living room I realized the noise was coming from inside the house. There on the wood floor on the other side of the couch was the missing baby. I had noticed Buddha sniffing around the couch when we got back from the neighbors but hadn't thought too much about it. Poor little guy--how long had he been in here? And HOW did he end up inside the house?? I picked him up and went out the slider to add him to the brood settled under the cardboard, disrupting the mother. With only one hand available I hadn't closed the slider behind me so Buddha came bounding out to see what all the fuss was about!

As you can imagine, chaos ensued. I got Buddha back in the house, closed the slider and turned off the porch lights, hoping they would accept the little guy into their midst even though he had human smell on him. It took several minutes before the peeping stopped. Relieved I went back to resume my bath...many thoughts had gone through my head about what I would do if the little guy didn't stop peeping--I thought perhaps I would bring him in and fix a little box for him if I could locate my heating pad....

This morning all 7 were following mom and I opened up the gate about 5 inches so they could leave if they wanted. It didn't take long for them to find the escape route.

Will they come back tonight? Stay tuned and I'll let you know. And if anyone can solve the mystery of how the baby Quail got into the house, I would love to hear it!