I made a u-turn, drove back around and pulled up in front of him. I got out of the car and slowly walked up to the little guy, talking quietly as I bent down to check him out. He didn't try and hop away from me - I was only about three inches from him - so I assumed he must have an injured wing. I went back to the car and grabbed a towel and small box, hoping to get him in it and off to the animal shelter quickly so he could get on the mend.
Returning to him and again talking quietly, he let me wrap the towel gently around him. I put the box down, and he eyed it, then eyed me. I went to pick him up, and he was fine until he realized I meant to put him in the box, so he hopped away a little bit - not unusual, as I'm sure anyone who has ever dealt with injured birds knows well! I wrapped the towel around him again and he was fine as long as he thought I was just going to pick him up, but when he realized the box was still his intended destination, he was none to thrilled... and that's when it happened.
All of a sudden, he cocked his little red head, gave me a funny look, and just TOOK OFF! His wing brushed my hand as he flew over to the brick wall of a nearby church, attaching himself to it with no trouble at all. The little guy was faking it! Hypochodriac bird!! Whoever heard of such a thing?!
I watched him fly off, laughing, both because it was such a bizarre thing to have happened and because I was so happy he really wasn't hurt after all - and also, I think, because it was such a miracle to have a wild animal like that be so overall trusting of me. It was clear he knew I was trying to be friendly; otherwise he'd have used that incredible beak on me. Nature and all her creatures are so amazing. I'll never forget my unusual little friend!