Midsummer, and along came a hapless jay — blue and wobbling — flight feathers nothing more than pins of white. It arrived at the nest’s edge unready, which was only half the problem. Crows perched in the oak across the street, alert, aware of all the world’s worst secrets. Naturally I rooted for the jay. Oh, but this was life. After the blue jay fell from the Scotch pine’s terrible height, it righted itself in the grass and, like a skin-kneed child after her first bad spill on a bike, cried out for help. I set down my rake and shepherded the bird toward my spindle tree. Hopping from low branches, it pressed toward the center, tucking itself into my tree’s sturdy heart. For two days the parents swooped down to feed it. Thankfully the crows never came, though I kept my eye on them. I knew their game. Pirates. Gangsters. Extortionists. Thieves. But even if the world is half bad, it remains half good. While some of us sleep, our hearts lie open, turned to the tender, dreaming up ways to thwart the crows. Yes, a hapless jay stumbles into our lives believing it can fly, and we — knowing what we know — do what we can to make it so.