Hopalong Hollow....

Hopalong Hollow, where the Blueberries grow sweet, and the moss feels soft beneath your feet.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Esther, with the broken wing

May I introduce you to a little dear...
This is Esther.
. Esther is a baby starling. Esther  was having a very GOOD day, she was just learning to fly. She was hopping about on the grass, as do all little starlings before learning to fly...
practice, practice. practice,
getting up off the ground.
Suddenly, she came upon someone  who was having a very BAD day.... Jane Black.
  Jane is raising her 7 little chickpeas and they are a rambunctious lot, it is all she can do to keep them all in a line. Little Esther came upon Jane at the wrong moment and was attacked by a protective mommy... Jane can't be blamed, she thought her babes were in danger, but she really hurt the fledgling. Esther s eye was poked, her foot was bent and her wing was broken .A mad mother hen is vicious. I was glad I was there to save her before more harm was done. I tried putting her in a bush up off the ground( it is said that the mother will hear her cry and still attempt to feed the fledglings) But she couldn't hold onto anything and kept falling off the branches .She couldn't hop and was dragging her wing. There are 5 cats in my household, need I say more?
 SO, Just for now, Esther is living here in my studio...

Esther  eats every 30 minutes throughout the day, till lights go out. Her meal consists of a scrumptious  mixture of moistened dog food, applesauce and hard boiled egg and worms, all mushed together like porridge.

She opens her mouth WIDE and I offer her the meal from a slender long stick.

 Having little Esther, reminded me of a drawing I had done many years ago, so I dug through my old artwork and found this:

 It's a bit beat up ( I used to mistreat my artwork terribly!) But I did it in 1976!
MY GOSH.....am I that old?

In the morning, Esther listens to her favorite tunes.

and memorizes all the lyrics
I have tried to make her feel right at home...
along with the other birdies.

 Birds are divine creatures. Doesn't everyone love birds?

She is quite an exuberant bather and takes at least 5 or 6  baths a day.
  The  water goes everywhere,
 SO I  MUST cover all important art projects!

 Since she has been here, 2 weeks now, her wing and foot have healed and she is flying beautifully! I should know, she lands on my head each time I open the studio door.
What a wonderful little muse she is as she learns to sing and chatter!

Because of her temporary dependence on me for food , she must travel with us when we exhibit at art shows.  So far she has attended 3 and is becoming quite the gadabout.
 Now that she is flying, she must learn to feed herself.

So I am setting live bugs on her little moss platform, in the hopes that instinct will take over. So far she can pick them up and carry them about, but doesn't eat them.....yet..

  I will dearly miss her when I am able to release her into the Hollow.....

 But little birds need freedom... and she gazes out the window at the wide, wide world, with longing..

 That is, when she isn't sitting on my head.

I love you Esther.


  1. Oh, dear Jeri,
    I am not alone in my rescue efforts of our poor little wild creatures....we cry when they pass and rejoice when they survive!
    Xavier asks now, quite frequently, "Grammy, you got anything? Chicky chick? Baby bun? Anything???"
    He has his Grammy's tender heart for God's tiniest wounded creatures...and knows we take them all in...
    You are a darling of a gal, blessed with so many incredible talents! And no my dear, we are NOT that old...1976 was just last week...right???
    Have a wonderful evening....include us in your prayers...our move to Franklin is next week!!!

  2. Dear Jeri,

    We love Esther, too! She reminds us of all the starling/magpie/pigeon/sparrow/robin fledglings we've rescued through the years. Birds are special people. ;)

    I received your absolutely gorgeous print the other day, and felt all the love that came along with it. I'm working on an appropriate "Thank You"!



  3. Oh Esther, you are a lovely and tender flying girl. I send you a kiss. And Jeri, Thank you to be this wonderful person we know by your blog.

    Nice evening,

  4. What a wonderful post! I love Ester too! You've done an amazing job of taking care of her, Jeri.

  5. It's not baby bird season without a rescue at our house anymore either. The joy of those babies is worth all the time and effort.

    Esther's adorable. Enjoy your little fledgling while she's with you!

  6. Oh Jeri,
    This should be a book. What a tender story. You have such a kind heart. I am so glad that you found her before disaster hit.. I just love the photo of wee Esther on your head.
    Your drawing from 1976 is beautiful.. I came across a drawing I did in the 50's.. Now I really feel old.
    I know it will be difficult for you to see her go, but we know what needs to be done when the time is right. Bless you for taking such good care..

  7. Bless you Jeri for your tender heart.

    I also seem to find animals in distress. One spring during a walk, Anita and I came upon some crows that had found a rabbit's nest and killed almost all of them. I scared the crows off and rescued one screaming bunny. Another Spring, we came up on a mother duck quacking in distress. Her babies had fallen down a sewer grate. I took off the massive cover and climbed down (needless to say my clothes were ruined). I put them in a box and set them down a distance away from the grate. The mother followed me and led her babies away, quaking up a storm as if scolding her babies.


  8. YOU, have captured my heart today my friend, but dearest, you always do with your wit. TOday, your tenderness and love for these gentle little sparkles of nature just makes my heart sing....OH HOW DIVINE!!!! YOU HAVE A RICH LIFE MY FRIEND!!!! Many hugs to you and thank you for this touching and sweet STORY OF HEALING!!!! Anita

  9. Jeri, I have tears in my eyes reading this post.

    What a wonderful life you have given to little Esther and what a beautiful girl she has come to be! I am in awe of the effort that you have gone to in order to make her feel safe and loved. I adore her food mixture, her perch and her mossy lawn. She looks too cute in the bath!

    Just remember that when she leaves, she will never be far away. Just listen to the singing of the birds and she'll be one of them!

  10. What a sweet, beautiful baby girl is little Miss Esther. How lucky she is to have a wonderful mother who takes her travelling to faraway places. Oh, I imagine that she's eager to tell her neighbors all about her trips. Just think how jealous they'll be that Esther has been such a gadabout soaking up the culture of another world. Would that we could be a little bee on a flower listening to her twitter. Hmmm...maybe not such a good idea to be a little fly. Once Esther learns to enjoy eating instead of carrying them around, insects will not be safe to stay awhile and listen to her stories.

    I love today's post.

    Diane in North Carolina

  11. Sweet, sweet, sweet! Only you could substitute for Ester's Mom and succeed! Your drawing of that baby bird years ago could almost be a photograph of the future. Loved my visit to the Hollow today, the music set the stage for a wonderful post...

  12. Jeri, East was my first adoptee. Last year we rescued another and promptly passed it onto my mom and visiting sister to nurture. They named it Peep Squeak and took its little basket with them everywhere. Isn't it funny what we'll do for babies--including that constant feeding! They're worth it :)

  13. Jeri, you are a shining light in the world. This is the sweetest, most beautiful story and I, too, am in awe of all the loving, thoughtful effort you have gone to to give this dear little bird a chance at life. I am sure she'll be a regular visitor to your garden once you set her free. I, too, have tears in my eyes...big hug!!! XO

  14. That is so sweet...Birds are wonderful. I love to listen and watch them. Please let us know how she does. I know you will really miss her when she's gone.

  15. I love Esther too!!!!!

    What a kind thing for youto do jeri!! I know how much time and effort it takes to take care of a injured animals. I ma so glad to know that it has been 2 weeks already and she is doing well.grin.
    Your ilustration is wonderful , boththe bird and the dogwoods! You have always been very talented!!!
    Drinking tea yet?*smiles*

  16. Dear Cousin Jeri,

    How wonderful that you have been taking such tender loving and devoted care of sweet Esther! Tasha's daughter Bethany had a starling that she raised named Tweedy. Tweedy lived with her for several years. To provide protein for Tweedy when he was losing his feathers, a vet advised her to put a nearly empty jam pot out to collect flies that would be drawn to the sticky sweetness.

    We just love birds, too!

    Your cousins,
    Diane and daughter Sarah at the Corgyncombe Courant

  17. Dear Jeri,

    I'm back again to let you know that I've featured your sweet print on my blog~ Many blessings today!



  18. how sweet, sweet, sweet...I used to work as a wildlife rehabilitator and it was some of the best work I think I ever didi...I enjoyed it so much...the joy, the sorrows, the hard work. I am so enjoying all of of your magical illustrations...you are a beautiful and talented woman!
    rebecca from pennsylvania:)

  19. Horrsy!!! I am signed in here tonight. So many blogs I can't sing in ....;-(
    thank you for your note on my doll blog Jeri, i truly appreciate!!!*grin*
    The front on the dollhouse that i ambuilding is not a prop nor is for the theatre .... it is for OUR dollhouse.
    Yes, the dollhouse is huge because the dolls are 1/4 scale to human scale so what i am building if 3 rooms first. there is not enough space in my living room for the other rooms right now so we shall see these first.
    I know exactly what you mean about art and time. BUT your books are so deltailed one CAN see that takes lots of time and effort to start and finish one.
    You have a lovely evening now, I am about to sleep and happy that I got to leave you a note first!

  20. This is amazing. YOU are amazing. What a great rescue and success story.

    And yes, I love all my bird visitors too:)

  21. You really are a modern day Beatrix... Tasha... Pick any of my favorites! What a wonderful gift. To be allowed to nurture that sweet bird,

    Blessings, Debbie

  22. There is never one time that I visit your blog that I don't leave with the biggest smile and the happiest of hearts. Your are my hero Jeri! You are so delightful and so is the sweet and precious Esther.
    xx, shell

  23. Jeri dear,

    You are really something special.

    I loved this.

    All joys to you and your Esther (which was my Mom's name),

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  24. HELLO ESTER! Mornin' Jeri! YES dearest, YOU and I BOTH should have lived long ago in a turreted stone castle/cottage with lots of GOATS and other four-footed folk in the HILLS OF PROVENCE where the scent of lavender makes you smile. Provence always comes to mind when the sun comes out, when my garden gets LUSH green and my herbs are in their pots.It is a state of mind as well for in calm, relaxation and harmony, Provence evokes all these things for me! THANK YOU FOR COMING and taking in a whiff of pleasure...enjoy your day with the critters!!!!! Anita

  25. Jeri, have your ears not been burning??? We have been emailing of what a small world it is...with your Dimity and Linnies mousekins running to and fro, in high adventures!! I have not met Duchess and hazel and the others, Anita spoke of...but she knew that I was a huge fan of yours and all your creatures at hop along hollow;)
    We must make a plan to have her visit Tennessee and give her the royal tour!

  26. Oh, Jeri, what an amazing person you are! I sense another book underway here. I wish there were not so many miles between the studios of two like-minded artists and send you the warmest of greetings... and compliments on the sweetness of your art and heart.

  27. That is such a sweet story -- bet you'll be sad to see her go!

  28. Dear Jeri
    Bebe would like to come and visit Dimity Doormouse in the Hollow this summer on one of her adventures.. Could we please have your permission to mention by name some the wonderful little creatures that live here? I would be honored of course to put a linkback to Hopalong Hollow... We will wait for you response.
    Bebe and I thank you

  29. Penny, Bebe is always welcome here, so yes , yes and yes !


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