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A Bird Teaches Humans a Lesson of Compassion, Bravery, and Love

Keith Brailsford

Jun 1, 2024

"This black-crowned bird truly taught me three lessons today – compassion, bravery, and love. It’s a lesson I will cherish in my daily life."

I had just arrived back home from a mid-day break, taking an exercise class at our local fitness center. As I pulled into our driveway, I quickly turned off the car as I wanted to run inside the house to get our dog, Tory, for his early afternoon walk. As I opened the car door, I froze. There before me, five feet away on the edge of the driveway, there was something moving. I quickly recognized that it was a young fledgling who was laying on its side, not moving.

Next to this beautiful bird, blue in color, with grayish blue wings, was another bird standing over his friend or mate. This other bird had a black crowned head, and his color was gray and black. What came next was heartbreaking.  The black crowned bird had his head bowed over the blueish bird. He seemed to be devastated at what happened to his friend or mate. Still, with his head bowed, he tried to help his friend, trying to move the other bird, seeming to believe that if he could bring the bird back up from lying lifeless on one side, he might be able to help the bird fly again.

I felt like the lifeless bird may have passed and that his friend was trying to do the impossible, to bring him back to life.  I was so sad at that moment, wondering what if anything I, as a meager human, could do at this moment. I knew that if I got a shovel and tried to lift the blue colored bird and ease it onto the lawn to see if it moved or not, the black crowned mate or friend may have attacked me and for good reason. This was his friend and/or soulmate. The black crowned bird was devastated to see his friend lying lifeless on the paved driveway.  No one was going to be allowed to interfere with their deep and special bond. I realized that.

I decided to go into the house, get my dog Tory ready for his walk and come back out to see what, if anything, I could do to help. Ten minutes later, I walked Tory to the car. He jumped in the passenger seat. I quickly noticed that two young crows were nearby. One crow was on the front lawn and the other crow was barely three or four feet from his prey, the young lifeless, blue colored bird. His friend or mate was pulling at his leg or body, I couldn’t fully tell.  When the young crow saw me, he quickly flew off in the distance, still close enough to descend upon the other birds when I had left.

And then something miraculous happened. I looked back at the black crowned bird and at the blue colored bird and they both had disappeared.  All I could think of was that the black crowned bird must have gotten some form of super strength, to lift his friend onto his back and take him to a safe place to recover.  I was struck by the black crowned birds’ act of compassion, staying by his friend’s side with his head bowed, not knowing if his friend was alive or not. I was equally humbled by the bravery the black crowned bird showed in the face of imminent danger from the crow who was lurking nearby. And finally, the super bird strength that the black crowned bird showed to his blue colored friend or mate, to miraculously take another bird of equal weight, and to fly him off to safety, was the greatest show of love and devotion one could ever imagine.

This black crowned bird truly taught me three lessons today – compassion, bravery, and love. It’s a lesson I will cherish in my daily life as I interact with other human beings, be they friends, fellow citizens, or family.


Keith has worked in telecommunications for several years, providing local and long distance telecommunications products and services to hotels and bed & breakfast inns throughout the Northeastern, United States. He then went on to design and market corporate healthcare and benefit solutions for Benemax, Inc. the nations oldest consumer driven healthcare brokerage, based in Massachusetts.  Keith has also served as an HR Manager for an IT company and in 2023, transitioned to academia, where he is pursuing his second masters degree, in Clinical Mental Health. Keith has traveled extensively with his wife Priscilla Dass-Brailsford, to over 38 countries and 44 states and in 2023, was a gold medal winner in the national yoga championships. Keith was a former military photo-journalist and loves to write short stories.

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