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I once caught a bird with my bare hands.

I must have been eight, maybe nine, as I don’t remember my father being around at the time. I was walking along a street a block from my grandmother’s house (where I was living at the time), and in a cedar hedge, I saw a bird the size of a tennis ball. It was tan with yellow wings, and it didn’t fly away as I passed it.

Intrigued, I stopped, turned around, and decided to sneak up on it with the intention to catch it. Surprisingly, the bird had no issue with this, and gladly let me pick it up and bring it home. I was an avid catcher of insects and the occasional salamander, and a bird was surely my best prize.

When I got home, I put the bird into a rather fancy wooden and glass bug house my second grade teacher gave me a year or two prior. It once held mantids I’d found at summer camp, and it seemed like the perfect place for my new pet. Proud of myself, I told my mother to come see the bird. 

I received the parental “wow” that appeases children, but my mother suggested I let it go. I refused and stared at it until the sun set. I went to bed.

In the morning, it was gone. My mother told me it must have escaped, and I believed her. In retrospect, she surely released it after I went to bed, and I’m glad she did.

Audio

This lovely song is from 2009, back when Chance The Rapper went by Chano and was part of a group called Instrumentality.