The Adventure: Being a Surrogate Mummy


It’s not every day that I become the surrogate mother of a juvenile seagull who hasn’t learned to fly yet.

One night, I discovered a seagull swimming about in my wee pond. It was clearly scared and so I decided to leave it alone.

The next day, I discovered that it was still here.

After realizing the poor bird couldn’t fly, I took it upon myself to care for him – especially after speaking with two different societies who indicated that it can take up to a week for juvenile seagulls to learn how to fly.

I named him Muffin and he crapped his pants everywhere.

And I mean everywhere.

My hidden oasis in the heart of the city was reduced down to nothing more than a fancy bird cage. Muffin was in the lap of luxury. He had his very own chandelier, a mirror so he could stare at himself, a big ole bird bath lined with tile and shiny objects. He had plants everywhere…a tree, tomatos, cat grass, bamboo, vines. He had an outdoor deck and a covered patio complete with astroturf and two huge sliding glass doors.

On occasion, I would turn the TV so Muffin could watch instructional videos of seagulls on the beach with waves crashing. The gulls were playing and having fun in the surf. But more importantly, they were flapping their wings and jumping up and down, just having a great time.

Muffin, good little man that he was, would, on occasion, start flapping his wings, hovering a foot in the air, before flopping back down. He’d watch the Youtube videos, flap around a bit, stare at himself in the mirror, hang out by the sliding glass doors to see what I was up to, and then gorf out on tuna and bananas. He didn’t care so much for bread or pasta or anything of a vegetable nature.

After a period of time, I actually got smart and put down newspaper in my yard, my outdoor dinner table (Muffin loved it up there under the chandelier), and everywhere carpeted. Wee Muffin was a pooping machine! I now get why bird houses have paper at the bottom.

One day when I got home from work, I discovered that my Muffin flew the coop. My wee little man learned how to fly. A part of me was thrilled to no end that I was able to help this bird out, but another part of me missed Muffin. I was starting to get used to his avian presence.

It took some time to clean up my yard after the fact. I had to hose down the outdoor rugs every other flat surface in order to clean up after Muffin.

A few days after he left, I was in the yard cleaning when I heard a seagull above. I looked up to see a juvenile speeding along with an adult, both being pursued by a few crows. I cried out, ‘MUFFIN!!!!’ convinced wholeheartedly that this was my Muffin, flying overhead with maybe his mommy or daddy, to look in on me – or at the very least, get some canned tuna and bananas.

Darn crows.

I keep looking for Muffin, wondering if he remembers his surrogate mummy.

© Monthly Adventure, Patricia Taylor, November 2014