While the pandemic had many people locked in their homes feeling depressed, Maria Bertrand was saved from her darkest hour by an unlikely, feathered friend.
The actress from Montreal, who now lives in Los Angeles, hadn’t had the best year to begin with; her relationship ended; her dog soon passed away; then lockdowns ended her business.
“I kept saying to myself ‘all I need is a miracle,’” she told The Epoch Times. “I know it sounds crazy but I am convinced my dog Moone brought me Happy because she knew she was dying and she knew I wouldn’t be able to handle losing her at that time.
“The only time I would leave the house was to do groceries or for my daily run around 10 a.m.
“I turned a corner and saw a bird pecking at what I thought was a crab on the street.
“As I got closer I realized it was a baby bird the adult bird was attacking.”
The “naked” sparrow had puncture wounds on his head and a deformed beak. Maria took it to a vet, and after leaving, got a call and was told it had to be euthanized.
“I was there in 45 minutes and I picked him up,” she said. “I couldn’t let them euthanize a bird who wanted to live. He was always screaming for food and he was quite feisty for a tiny little thing.”
With nothing else in her life, not wanting even to get up in the morning, Maria found a reason for living.
“Happy literally saved my mental health during my darkest time. I really felt like I had nothing left and no purpose … except to feed this tiny little being who depended on me,” she said.
Wild sparrows are not native to California, and so it was legal for her to keep the bird.
She named him “Happy,” because his deformed beak always makes him look like he’s smiling.
She was amazed by the range of emotions he showed.
The bird loves to eat, she said, and is always curious to meet new friends who come to visit her.
Happy sometimes displays displeasure; Maria would have to trim his deformed beak, at times. “If I take too long doing it, he gets really mad at me,” she said in a video.
“He’ll fly around and be like, ‘meep-me-me-me-me!’ literally telling me off!”
(Courtesy of @happythesparrow)
She said she began to video-record her interactions with Happy, calling his name, which he would recognize, and he would fly in from another room in the house and land on her shoulder.
Happy even built a nest in the house and would, adorably, put himself to bed each night.
The amazing videos of Happy and Maria were posted on her Instagram page, where they bring joy to tens of thousands of followers.
Far beyond that, this little bird with a deformed beak appeared when she needed a friend the most.