SCORES & OUTDOORS: A heart warming cardinal rescue

Julie, holding the male cardinal she nursed back from an injury.

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

This week, I’m going to give up my space to one of our regular contributors, Gary Kennedy, who has a heart-warming story to tell about he and his wife’s encounter with an injured male cardinal:

“Everyone knows that February has evolved from the fourteenth being Valentine’s Day to a week of love and its wonderful array of display hearts, candy, cards and flowers. I am considered old now but I have very vivid memories of exchanging Valentines cards with the heart throbs in my elementary classes. Of course, Mrs. Anthony who resides with God now had to receive a card, also. She was a wonderful teacher in my third and fourth grades.

“I was a naughty boy a lot of the time and had to be punished but I often wonder who was hurt more by the punishment, Mrs. Anthony or me. I firmly believe it was Mrs. Anthony. I remember she was beautiful and I was eight or nine years old. I have always said she was the turning point in my life. She was a wonderful teacher and a beautiful person. God bless those who teach us along the way. For the most part school is our second home for many years and those who guide us from one step to another are the major point in the direction of our lives. I will always love and miss Mrs. Anthony and many others who left their mark on my life and gave it meaning and direction. The love of our parents, pastor and friends are so very important as well.

“Maine is very fortunate to have the best of everything. God gave us a wonderful environment full of wondrous living things of which to enjoy. We might not be a rich state monetarily speaking but we raise some very wonderful people. I always say, “It’s a matter of the heart and perception”. I thank our creator every morning when my eyes open realizing I am still here to enjoy another day of the wonderful life around me.”

Whoops, I think Gary got a little off subject there. Here is what the heartwarming story is about:

“Yesterday Julie and I visited a dear friend, Les, to share some veteran information and to seek some advice. It’s always a joy to drive to Gardiner and visit a friend! After we left Gardiner, saying goodbye to our friends, Les, Brenda and, of course, Grammy Frannie, we proceeded to Augusta. As we were passing through Hallowell and our favorite seafood store, my wife Julie spotted something that was bright red standing aimlessly on the center line of the roadway. At a second glance my wife shouted “honey turn around there is a bird in the middle of the road.” I hit my brakes and turned around, and sure enough there stood a beautiful male cardinal. He was a little wobbly but remained steadfast to the center line.

“I placed my truck in the center of the road and turned on my hazard lights. Julie jumped out and picked up the bird, which was dazed and bleeding in his right eye. Julie grabbed a tissue and gently applied pressure to the area.

“We had a line of traffic behind but when they saw Julie they understood that she was attending to a problem. The bird seemed confused but didn’t resist Julie’s loving touch and care. It was like it understood.

“We drove directly home, aborting our original plans. Julie prepared a box with windows, made a bed with a soft towel and prepared some peanut butter and sunflower seeds along with water. We placed the box in our bow window overlooking our numerous bird feeders. Julie felt that visual affect would be helpful to the well being of the injured bird. The bird ate some and rested through the night. This morning he indicated he would like to try flying home. We took the box outside and Julie picked up the bird from the box. The bird gave her a gentle bite and then took to flight. The bird voiced something, which Julie recorded. Julie believes it was “good bye and thank you.” Julie being a sensitive person had shed a few tears and thanked God for allowing the beautiful red cardinal to live.”

It’s a remarkable story in that a small bird like a cardinal can be injured, in the middle of a road, and survive that, without considering the care and nursing Julie gave him, to send him on his way.

Roland’s trivia question of the week:

Name the four NFL teams to never appear in a Super Bowl.

Answer can be found here.


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