“Blame it, this whole thing is just as easy and awkward as it can be. And so it makes it so rotten difficult to get up a difficult plan. There ain’t no watchman to be drugged — now there oughtto be a watchman. There ain’t even a dog to give a sleeping-mixture to. And there’s Jim chained by one leg, with a ten-foot chain, to the leg of his bed: why, all you got to do is to lift up the bedstead and slip off the chain. And Uncle Silas he trusts everybody; sends the key to the punkin-headed nigger, and don’t send nobody to watch the nigger…..Why, drat it, Huck, it’s the stupidest arrangement I ever see. You got to invent all the difficulties. Well, we can’t help it; we got to do the best we can with the materials we’ve got.
Anyhow, there’s one thing — there’s more honor in getting him out through a lot of difficulties and dangers, where there warn’t one of them furnished to you by the people who it was their duty to furnish them, and you had to contrive them all out of your own head.”
And so spaketh Tom Sawyer in the 35th chapter of Huck Finn.
There’s the right way to do something and the wrong way.
In our case, Mazie imagines black face paint and ninja costumes. Kerry dreams up fake transportation permits and forged documents from the Hopi Tribe. I consider several furtive and superfluous transfers between waiting vehicles a la Mission Impossible.
In the end though, we just take him.
In our last moment before leaving Hopi, we disinter an old dog carrier from the garage and load it in the car. That’s the extent of our plan.
A few hours later we find ourselves at the home of the wildlife rehabilitator. We knock.
After a long wait, the husband shows himself. His wife is gone. He doesn’t know where she is, or when she’s getting back.
We came to visit Poe, we explain and he says that we are free to go to the back.
Which we do. Mazie carries with her a Middlebury sweatshirt. The air once again is filled with the cacophonous roar of jackhammers. I step into the cage with Poe and he looks up with wearied eyes. I whisper for Mazie to walk quickly to the car, retrieve a shred of burrito and bring it back. I meanwhile sit with the stricken bird. Mazie returns and we feed Poe with some scraps of meat that he takes eagerly.
And just like that I drop the sweatshirt over Poe and swaddle him in my arms. I race across the yard. Behind me I hear Mazie closing the gate so it is slightly ajar. Goodbye Poe, she says.
We dive in the car and quick as can, we peel away.