A laundry was happening in the furnace room during which time a noise was coming from the furnace. The furnace was off for the summer. It sounded like some kind of creature was living in the furnace. I couldn't investigate that day because the laundry machines were making too much noise to track down the cause. The next day the noise was still coming from the furnace. The first thing that I did was open up the duct work. Clean! The next thing I did was open up the bottom of the Selkirk chimney. I found a couple of feathers. Meanwhile the sound was still coming from the furnace. I opened the fire box and looked in. I could see nothing. I used a stick to keep the firebox door pried open and stood back. To my surprise a starling poked its head out the door. I left the room and closed the door. I stayed out for a few minutes and came back in. The bird was sitting on a bench. I put on a pair of work gloves and chased the bird around the basement as it flew from one place to another until it was cornered in such a way that I could pick it up. Squawk! I raced with it up the stairs through the house and out the back door. I let the bird go and watched it fly to the nearest tree as my four cats looked at me bewildered from their vantage points in my garden. The bird sat in the tree looking around for several minutes. Without looking back to took off toward the noon time sun.
The little starling was living in the sooty firebox for at least 24 hours with no hope of escape. It had no light, no food. and no water. It was dirty, smelly and dark. What kept this small bird going for so long? I wonder if I was in a situation like that how I would react. That little creature showed marvelous tenacity, hope, determination, and the will to live; or was it just instinct that kept it going. I like to think that God's creatures are designed with more than instinct when I look at the wonders of nature. What a beautiful world we live in.