Why I Put A Hot Dog In A Ninja

ninja hot dog

It wasn’t the Tuesday I was expecting. I put a hot dog in a ninja and mixed it up with some applesauce for a homemade remedy.

You see, I was doing some computer work from my outdoor office (read: patio table) when I heard an incredible commotion from the chickens. It sounded like they were under attack so I ran back to make sure they were all accounted for.

All 12 huddled by the ramp to their coop, peering ominously around the corner of their run. I followed their gaze and saw a small fledgling robin laying in the middle of their run. How it got in there is a mystery. There is netting all over that run in an attempt to thwart hawks, and I’ve no idea how this little bugger found his way in with the hens.

I could tell it was dead…. except…. wait… was it still breathing?


I ran to the garage to throw my muck boots on, grabbed my gardening gloves, and ran back to the run, all the while yelling at the chickens to leave the poor bird alone. I’ve no idea if they listened to me, or if they are the reason it lay motionless to begin with.

I picked it up and it opened it’s beak wide in anticipation of comfort food, I can imagine. I didn’t know what to do with it, so I very gingerly set it down outside the run, and went to get a tiny box from the garage.

I placed it carefully in the box and brought it over to the patio. It was in rough shape, and I thought it was dead no fewer than five times. I had no hope for this bird surviving.

That didn’t stop me from frantically digging up worms to try to feed it, however. It ate one smaller worm successfully. It didn’t have the strength to try again.

I tried to explain to the kids this was part of nature and we had done what we could to help the bird, but we had to leave it alone and let it die in peace. I moved it from the box to the grass in the shade of a tree in our backyard, near the run in case its parents were nearby and could somehow care for it.

Little Miss folded her arms across her chest and told me this was the worst day of her life. I imagine the robin had it worse than her, but I didn’t have the heart to tell her so. I could see she was devastated for the little bird.

Her comment broke my heart, though, and made me wonder if I had helped the bird at all, or if I was only prolonging its misery.

I did more work from inside but couldn’t take my mind off the robin. Every few minutes I glanced out to beneath the tree.

Am I insane? Should I do more? Could I do more? Do I bother doing more?

I watched from the patio door as other robins literally hopped over it and left it alone. “Are there no Good Samaritan robins?!” I pleaded in prayer.

Robins are my favorite birds, but this was really damaging their reputation for me.

I had a long talk with Mr. Google and I devised a plan.

Before I could talk myself out of it, I had thrown a leftover hotdog in the Ninja, stirred it together with some homemade applesauce (one site suggested feeding wet dog food or cat food, and hotdog/applesauce was the closest homemade substitution I could think of), and marched myself armed with a feeding toothpick to the shade of the tree. There the little robin lay, asleep. Exhausted.

It had been over two hours since we fed it the one worm, and frankly, I was surprised to see its little chest still rising and falling.

I scooped up a toothpick serving of hot-dog-applesauce, nudged its beak, and it ate it heartily. It chirped loudly and lunged forward for more. I was able to give it about five “servings” before it tuckered out and lost interest, closing its eyes and falling back asleep.

hot dog ninja 1

Well that did it. I had adopted a robin, and I was determined to save its little life.

I was also sure it was injured, though I couldn’t tell for certain.

I went back to the garage and assembled a makeshift nest from a strawberry container we had in the recycling bin. I lined it with tissue paper and pine shavings, made it as comfy (by unknown robin standards) as I could, grabbed my gardening gloves again and made my way back to the fledgling.

I was pleased to see the food had perked it right up. It was lively. It was also now terrified of me.

As it tried to edge away from me, I could tell it’s right leg was obviously not working.

With a great show of flapping, hopping, and squawking, it avoided all my attempts to check it in to Hotel De Fledge. I didn’t want to over-stress it or injure it further so I stepped back and sighed heavily.

Meanwhile, overhead, there was a tremendous production of protective robins who were very vocal in their disgust with my approaching the little bird. But I hollered back, “I WOULDN’T HAVE TO DO THIS IF YOU HAD TAKEN CARE OF HIM!”

At a loss for what to do next, and with my heart simultaneously heavy and warmed, I scooped up my five-star makeshift nest and headed back inside.

I watched for the next 30 minutes as the little guy took intermittent hopping treks to the tree line just beyond our lawn, then he disappeared out of sight.

I don’t know if he survived, but I’m sure I know what his odds were. I fretted and worried over this fellow and prayed for God to save his life.

I heard the verse about sparrows, “Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside the Father’s care.”

Then I heard, “Do you trust me?

For all I know that little robin could have had his injury in my yard so I would feed it a magic mixture of hot dog and applesauce. Whether it lived or died, I don’t know, but I know I trust the Lord to care for me in far better ways than I could nurse that little robin.

None of it was outside of His sight.

“Do you trust me?”

Yes, Lord.

That little robin doesn’t trust me. It exerted tremendous effort to escape the very hands that were trying to care for it, and I know nothing about caring for robin fledgling, but I was still going to try!

And how much more does God care for me? How much more does He know about exactly what I need, when, and, how much?  And how many times do I hop and squawk and throw myself at the mercy of the world instead?

No, it was not the Tuesday I expected. But for a lot of reasons, it was the Tuesday I needed.

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