Baby Brown: RIP

By John "Birdman" Bryant


How many years has it been since I lost you, Baby Brown? Three? Four? I still can't get over the fact that you're not here. I still can't get over losing the most wonderful Christmas present I ever had. But I thank whatever gods may be that I had the privilege of having you and loving you for a few short days.

Do you understand why I lost you, Baby Brown? I lost you because I was committed to freedom for every living thing. My commitment to freedom made me forget that you needed to be kept inside and protected because you were too weak and sick to be outside by yourself. How could I have been so stupid? I can't believe myself even now. I suppose it was because I loved you so much that I felt I had to prove to myself and to you that I would never stand in the way of your freedom. Please forgive me, Baby Brown. I surely can't forgive myself.

But if I have lost you, I have gained something, too. I have been reminded that I must care for and love ever so much more carefully the beautiful feathered creatures which I have been privileged to have in my life, and which make up such an important part of it. I have been reminded that my greatest pleasure comes from doing my duty, and that my greatest pain comes in not doing it.

My friend Mary tells me that, when I die, I will find myself in Heaven surrounded by all the many birds that I have loved, and maybe she is right. I can't say I'm much of a believer in an afterlife, and yet there is genuine evidence. Of course, maybe belief in an afterlife is only a straw we grasp after we lose someone we love.

And I will always love you, Baby Brown. Always.

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