Having helped save small brown bird of unknown species from my two cats (who helped by on this occasion only applying themselves in a very half-assed fashion to the hunt), we set about attempting to keep it alive in the comforts of our home.
I sacrificed a shoebox, Matei ripped some grass from the garden (while I shouted Not by the roots! and I could feel Z's soul stir in alarm half a city away at the hazard to his beloved lawn), we gave the bird some water and seeds, evicted all felines and set it up on the kitchen table.
Matei immediately replaced his previous obsessions (chronologically snails, ladybirds and beetles) with a bright, shiny avian love. (A love that the object of its passion was less keen on, understadably; the poor thing looked on the verge of a heart attack while M gently brushed his fingertip over her head).
Having evicted the cats into the garden and the boy into the playgroup, I put the shoebox-with-bird into a quiet room and shut the door. A couple of hours later I heard chirping and singing, and went in to find the bird sitting on top of the computer monitor, posing with a photograph of my grandfather.*
I also discovered it had repaid my hospitality, by liberally pooing on the carpet (a poo so cannilly concealed in the intricate swirls and flowers of the carpet's design that I only discovered it when I stepped in it. With my naked foot. An event that would have had significantly more power to horrify me before I had children.
Now to face the meltdown that is sure to follow when I tell M that we cannot keep it....
*Does anyone know what type of bird it is?