Wildlife Management II

I woke from a bird hitting the window, almost, I thought, hard
enough to break it.
The sun rose knowingly.
I slid the sash up and
stuck my head out like someone in an Italian movie.
A flicker lay
on its back—stunned—but it was blinking steady as a railroad
crossing.
Was there misery to put out?
Would it come to its
'senses'?
I thought where were you when bark beetles killed half
my trees?
Then I remembered, sleepily, reading that flickers mostly
eat ants.
I went back to sleep for half an hour, and dreamed, as I
often do, of horses.
When next I looked, the bird still lay still, still
blinking.
Maybe, I thought, it can't roll over.
So I went down and
rolled it over.
Terrified by my touch, it came to life and flop-
hopped down the hill into some sagebrush.
It didn't fly, but it
didn't seem broken, either.
I tried to find it later.
No luck.
Whether
it lived and flew off, or died thrust into a bush, was, apparently,
none of my business.
If it were thrust into a bush, I knew the ants
wouldn't wait for the guest of honor to start dinner.

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