Chuck’s Calamity

As you walk down the muddy road of life you learn all sorts of things.  Some of the things you learn, you really didn’t want to know.

For instance, we lived many decades without knowing that you can go to your local pet store and buy frozen mice.  Frozen dead mice. “Not for human consumption,” says the package in what must be one of history’s most unnecessary warnings.

We didn’t really want to know about frozen mice but Chuck, our neighborhood Greater Roadrunner, needed for us to know so we learned.

Chuck, about whom we have written many times, showed up here last week with part of his lower beak broken and dangling by a thread.  The broken part later fell off.  But he was unable to eat for a day or so and remains unable to hunt for himself. He couldn’t even pick up the tidbits of hamburger we customarily give him. Besides, a roadrunner who ate only hamburger would soon die of malnutrition anyway.  They need a varied diet which includes the bones, hair, blood, and internal organs of their prey.  Plus that is where they get most of their water, although roadrunners, adapted to desert living, don’t need much water.

So we learned about frozen mice.  We thaw them and give him one and sometimes two a day.  He usually can pick one up on the second or third try, although he seemed a little befuddled the first time.  We don’t think he’d ever seen a white mouse before. We’ve also improved the hamburger; now he gets raw flank steak. So far, we think he is doing OK but it may be touch and go for awhile.  We’ll keep you posted.

And we’ll keep buying frozen mice.

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