Last night, Miguel's friend Augie pulled into the driveway on his bicycle to report that he and Miguel had found a dead bird. Augie, a grimace on his face, said, "Miguel wanted to pick it up and bring it home to show you!" I said, "That would have been so gross!" and Augie exclaimed, "I know!" Of course, I interpreted Augie's use of the past tense to mean that Miguel had considered bringing home roadkill but then thought better of it. Just then, I saw Miguel approaching on his bike - his right hand tight on the handlebars, his brow furrowed, and his left hand clutching a small dead bird with its head flopping about. He jumped off his bike and ran towards me. I vaguely remember him saying things like, "dead bird", "so sad, so very sad" and "had to show you the poor little bird" but I am sorry to report that I was a bit more concerned about West Nile Virus, maggots and bacteria to honor the dead properly. I grabbed him by the arms, held them out in front of him and escorted him to the trash can where I unceremoniously shook the dead bird from his hand. We then spent the next hour at the sink with a big bar of soap.
I have now adopted a new saying...a bird in the hand is just really nasty.