Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Nestling

Our experience being landlords has, thus far, been pretty predictable. There's the good, the bad and the ugly. Our tenants are good, no, GREAT! A mom and her 8-year-old daughter and her long-term boyfriend, who seems to be in it for the long haul. They are really friendly, neat enough and responsible about paying the rent. Of course, the suite was constructed rather hastily by some previous owner who wanted rental income ASAP. This means some corners were cut.

Our tenants emailed us last week saying that their faucet was leaking. Leaking would be an understatement. The spout of the faucet (circa 1970) split down the side and was gushing water in a long, thin jet every time it was turned on. That had to be replaced. No probalo. That's what being a landlord is all about.

Then their dryer went kaputt. Called Doug the Dependable Dryer Guy and he repaired it to the tune of $300 (expensive, I know, but cheaper than a new dryer). He then announced that the dryer was broken because the vent pipe was all clogged. This would be because whoever installed the vent pipe used this cheap plastic crap that clogs easily. We were sure that we'd have to cut out some drywall to replace the pipe, but the whole downstairs bathroom (the ugly) needs gutting due to some genius who put linoleum in the shower instead of tile (again with the cheaping out and cutting corners). We didn't want to replace the dryer pipe it until it was time for the bathroom reno. So Peter got his dad's pipe snake and went about unclogging the pipe as best he could.

This is how we found the nestling. She was hopping around, mostly fluff, under the dryer vent, which happens to be directly under the gable vent in our house, a prime nesting site for sparrows. This little sparrow somehow took a plunge and survived. Not enough feathers to make a good go of flying, we knew we'd have to put her back in her nest in order for her to have any chance of survival. Her parents were still feeding her, but she was certainly alarmed, hopping about with her big yellow beak wide open. Very tiny and very cute.

We didn't have a ladder, so after inquiring at our neighbour's to no avail, Peter retrieved his dad's ladder and carefully caught the little peeping nestling in a plastic plant pot lined with a clean rag and climbed the ladder to put her back in her nest. Our plan worked and she hopped right back through the gable vent to her home. Needless to say, this made my day. Not only did I keep my own little fluffy-headed nestling all safe, warm and fed, but I also helped some other creature's nestling back to its loving parents. Feels good to be alive!
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