Baby bird on ground
Two cultures one sad feeling
Lao mom, son, falang
March 2nd 2011
On our meanderings around Pakse looking for some place to relax and avoid the heat we came upon a small baby bird which had fallen out of its nest. It sat on the sidewalk awaiting its fate. Lucie and I thought about returning it to its nest high above, but we both heard that a mother bird would reject newborns if they smelled humans on them (neither of us are 100% true, or if it applies to Laotian birds). Nevertheless the nest was too high and I was getting over a head cold and could not climb.
A Lao mother came by with her teenage son. Seeing us look at the baby bird the Laotian mother went over and picked it up. It hopped feebly in her hands. She looked at her son and then at the nest high above, and both of them determined that it was too high for him to attempt to return. She had to put it back where it was, away from the nearby ants. We then all moved on helplessly, returning the bird to its fate. Though us falang (Vietnamese for foreigners) and the mom and the son scarcely said a word between us for the few minutes that we were there, there was certainly some communication in our facial expressions, and I believe we must have been thinking and feeling similar things.