The lunchtime errand had taken longer than expected. He had a meeting in 45 minutes that needed about an hour’s preparation. And the parking lot was so packed he had to go down to the third level to find a space, but damned if Tom Bradlock didn’t drop everything and go into rescue mode when he got out of his car heading toward the elevators and did a double-take halt when he saw the exhausted sparrow sitting on the concrete by the wheel of the Lexus.
“How the heck did you get all the way down here little fella?” Tom asked tensing in embarassment as his voice echoed off everything. The bird responded by lifting off a few inches from the deck and flying about 20 feet to an unsteady landing and Tom relaxed when he realized he was alone, not counting the security cameras that were probably being monitored by an officer in the building’s lobby somewhere who at that moment was probably wondering why Tom had come to a full stop and was staring down at the ground. He also probably wondered why Tom then set down his briefcase and suddenly walked in the direction of a car that wasn’t his.
As he did so with purposeful strides Tom thought “And how the heck are we gonna get you out?” He knew that the odds of actually catching the bird were ridiculous. The odds of him making a fool of himself were very good. And sure enough when he got about five feet from the creature it hopped under the nearest vehicle and came out the other end in a flight that ended about 20 yards away. The good news is it landed near a corner of the garage and if Tom maneuvered properly and with a little luck he might be able to drive the bird there and trap it.
Slowly he worked his way closer, driving the bird backward while stepping a little left when the bird went right, feinting the opposite way when the bird did the same, like a strange dance. And soon enough came the moment of truth with Tom’s arms held out wide about two feet from the the bird pushed up and flapping frantically against the wedge of concrete walls with little in the way of an escape.
Tom lunged and the bird launched, but was just tired enough that it couldn’t get away from the hands that encircled it. Warm hands that pressed firm against its wings, but not too tight.
Tom laughed half in shock at his success and this time he didn’t cringe when the sound bounced around the garage. Instead he walked back over to his briefcase, somehow managing to pick it up in his clasped hands without either crushing the bird or giving it room to get out of his grasp. The elevator took forever, especially while holding a squirming chirping bird, but at least he traveled up to the lobby solo and made his way past the security guard looking at him sternly and directly out the front doors of the building where he parted his hands and the little brown bird suddenly quiet sat in his open palms for a second blinking in the bright light of day. And then flew up and away.