Sunday, February 28, 2010

My friend Inez

People don't normally name the birds and animals they encounter, but after watching one ibis for over six years, I simply had to. I named her Inez. What was it that made her stand out? First of all, she had a bad limp that made it difficult for her to keep up with the other ibis when they foraged for food. And secondly, she came back to our neighborhood again and again for over six years. We're practically family.

Today she had two young ibis with her, sporting the brown feathers of youth. Her second family, although, I suspect there may have been a third. I was so happy to see them, even though they are skittish around humans. When there are long absences, I worry. She is usually gone when she has a clutch. But has always returned.

One day I was out walking and spied the remains of an ibis; nothing but a ball of tail feathers, a beak and the legs and feet. I was beside myself, thinking it must have been Inez for she doesn't move as quickly as the others. Today we saw a hawk devouring a white feathered bird in the field and I stressed out. There were snowy egrets flying about, it could have been one of them, or it could have been a cattle egret. There are many in the field where the cattle graze. When I saw Inez and her chicks, I was overjoyed.

Inez is a courageous ibis. She has regained her wing strength and flies as well as the others now, but the limp remains. I admire her for keeping on in the face of a crippling disability. She made me think about the countless children in our world who suffer in the same way. That was my motivation for writing "Inez Ibis Flies Again, The Story of a Courageous Ibis Who Never Gave Up."

If you know a child who needs encouragement and the will to "keep on keeping on," please take a look at my picture book. Samples are available at both of these web sites:
Hard Copy

You can also purchase hard or soft cover books directly from me via or my Etsy tab on Facebook: Carol Allen Anfinsen or AnfinsenArt.