Somehow a sparrow was caught behind the corner desk that Cam’s computer sits upon. I knew something was behind there when our cat, Mog, wouldn’t leave the corner alone. The gap behind the desk and the wall is only small enough for a small bird to squeeze through, or for a cat paw to hook around.
An almighty squawk and the cat had it in her mouth. A game of cat and human ensued (similar to cat and mouse but generally it involves a human screaming “Out!” and “Drop”.) So the cat dropped and I picked up. The bird was hurt but not dead. But I knew it would be if I took it outside – because of Mog and her ilk and the heavy, cold rain that is currently dowsing Wellington.
I did not have the guts to end the bird’s suffering; to wring its neck and be done with it. Instead, I have made a nest for it in an old tea box and fool myself into thinking it may pull through. I check every five minutes and it is still alert and breathing after about an hour now, and it has had a few drops of water.
But the true horror of it is that this incident has solved a problem that I have with my novel. My protagonist, January, is a little bit of a bitch. Actually she is a colossal bitch, but because in the novel you are privy to her thoughts, she (hopefully) shows her own vulnerabilities and humour. So when I adapted the novel to my screenplay I could not make her likable. I have used a bird in part of the novel and the screenplay and now I plan to milk that image. I will have January feed her bird showing her humanity without having her save a basket of puppies from a burning building.
I guess being a writer means that anything can inspire; at least that is my excuse.