Henry

A loving voice of an aged women came floating through the air, “Henry, Henry!! Come here, baby.” Seeing no response on the other end she called again. She was standing under a shady maple tree with another friend whose dog was near her. As she started to call the third time, she was startled by a reproaching “Woof, woof!!” from her friend’s dog. It came right next to her, wagging its tail and looked at her face. Mrs. Garelick puckered up her face and wondered if her voice was too loud and imperative. She stopped calling. But Henry needed to come ASAP! He was too far and she was losing sight of him.

Henry was happily admiring the white blossoms of a mock orange bush by the roadside. What a beautiful day it was! Bright sunshine had washed the road and a light breeze from the south made the ambience just perfect. A faint yet bewitching fragrance was drawing him closer to the bush. With his little feet he ventured closer to the flowers. The bush was towering over him. Suddenly he heard a soft chirping sound. He waited for a few moments and sure enough there it was again.

Henry was thrilled to realize that the chirping was coming from within the bush. He could hear Mrs. Garelick’s familiar voice calling him but now could hardly contain his curiosity to explore the source of the sound. He peered through the branches and let his eyes get accustomed to the darkness within. His eyes popped out and he tilted his head slightly in amazement. Among the mesh of thick and thinner branches and reeds, way deep inside was a carefully laid bunch of twigs arranged as a cuddly home for three baby warblers.

The babies felt hungry and started to let out little squeaks to call out to the parents. The parents were still busy gathering food. Henry happened to be standing nearby. He carefully took a few steps forward to take a closer look. They looked like yellow balls of fuzz. The tiny black eyes and beaks were the only identifying features tying them to the avian species. What a neat find!!

In his excitement, he hurried and stumbled forward, losing his balance. Whoosh! There he was right next to the nest, surrounded by the branches and darkness. He tried to kick with his little legs but his right foot got caught in the mesh of branches. For poor Henry, the thrill and excitement suddenly turned to fear. He lost interest in the cute yellow chicks and became worried about his own safety. Tears streamed down from his frightened eyes. He thought of shouting for his life but looked at the chicks, instead. The chicks were staring at him, in fear and excitement. They squeaked softly, though. Henry was glad that they were not panicking. He just whined and felt really sorry for himself.

Mrs. Garelick had waited couple minutes under the shade but became worried now. “Henry, Henry,” she called again trying hard to make it endearing even though it was loud. When there was no response she started to walk back to the place where she last saw Henry. But no one was there to be seen. She looked around in disbelief and was almost at the point of panicking. “Henry, Henry!!” , she was clearly audible. Something in her told that Henry must still be nearby. So she paused and listened carefully. She heard the soft breeze, some mild chirping and then a familiar whimpering that she knew too well. That must be Henry but where is he. Her eyes fell on the bunch of reed and mock orange bushes. She softly called out to her dear Henry and this time perked her ears to track the source of the whimpering. Sure enough there it was from the third bush on her right. Mrs. Garelick bend down and peered inside the bush. She saw the scared eyes of Henry staring back at her.

Carefully she rescued him from the bush and took him in her lap. He greeted her with a ton of sloppy licks and a loving “Woof! Woof!”