When I was a tween, back before the term tween was invented, I spent my summers at an eight-week camp in Maine. The camp was ridiculously expensive, so every summer my parents worked at the camp while my sister and I were campers. We were what people refer to as staff brats.
One fine summer day I was running through the woods fleeing from swim lessons to the safety of improv class when I found a little humming bird on the sidewalk. The poor little thing had used its supersonic wing speed to crash into a window. It was stirring feebly on the ground, so I made it my mission to save the little bird. I found a little box where it could rest safely. I wanted to feed little Hummy, so I stole one of my father’s cans of Dr. Pepper. I took a little dish from the ceramics class and made the little bird a sugar water treat.
I was a hero! My little bird friend drank the Dr. Pepper, but it didn’t fly away. I watched as he started to grow. It was Willy Wonka come true! I ran to find my father, but by the time we got back, Hummy was as bloated as three-day-old roadkill.
My father told me the sad truth. Birds don’t burp. Carbonation can’t escape, and they die a slow, distended death. I was horrified. My heroic attempts had turned into murder. I cried as Hummy squirmed and died. I can never undo the damage I did to that little bird, but I can pass on my message: Dr. Pepper kills, and birds don’t burp.
As always, please feel free to leave comments or other tips for not accidentally murdering wildlife.