A bird. Girls. And a backyard adventure.

An adventure isn’t defined as an excursion, although an excursion can certainly be an adventure – and we’d argue that it probably should be. But, by definition, an adventure is an “unusual or exciting” experience or activity.

That’s what the dictionary says, with no mention of location. Which leaves the door for potential wide open.

So, based on the facial expressions she made on Christmas Day, Josie had herself an interesting, gooey, rugged, unexpected adventure right in her own backyard.  One minute she was practicing handstands on a balance beam we made for her sister.

The next she was feeling the inside of a dove, learning how to process the bird that Ron had picked off only a few minutes earlier, with the help of our trusty blue heeler, Miss Elliott.

“It’s warm,” she said, her hand inside the bird that had been alive only a few minutes earlier, her face revealing exactly how it felt. “So weird.”

She was the only one to volunteer when Ron asked if anyone would like to learn how to process the bird, its head dangling upside down. Riley had done it before, so she passed. Lulu was horrified, but still interested in observing. And Miss Elliott supervised, making sure her bird was handled properly.

Once she pulled the meat from the inside of the bird, Ron showed her where the organs were, pointing out the heart and lungs, a lesson Josie eagerly soaked up, holding her soiled hand at a distance.


And the whole experience allowed for a valuable conversation about where our food comes from and how it comes to be at our local grocery. Because, they need to know you don’t plant chicken seeds. Or burger seeds. Or bacon seeds.

They need to understand that. Because a few years ago, Josie asked what animal grapes come from. She also asked what animal corn comes from. Both questions gave me a stomachache from laughter, but both illustrate that sad disconnect today’s suburban kids have with the way the world actually works.

That not everything is immediate. That you can’t swipe your way through life. That every aspect of life takes actual work.

And, that your dog might take a wing.