Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Caution: Metaphors Ahead

If this gets maudlin, I apologize in advance.

If I apologize in advance, then I apologize for continuing to publish posts that I feel compelled to apologize for.

I was jolted out of my sleep at my desk job today by a very loud squawking on the rail of the little landing outside my window. There was a fuzzy little brownish-grey bird there, demanding loudly and jerkishly to be fed by what must have been his mother, a black bird who landed beside him on the rail and shoved the small bit of not-much that she had down his gullet. He kept on squawking at her until it was obvious that she had emptied her pockets for him, and there was nothing more to be badgered out of her.

Not so uncommon. But the thing that caught my eye was the fact that (a) the fuzzy bird must have, by that time, mastered the basics of flight, since he was able to land on the rail with no nest in sight, and (b) he was just as big as his mother – maybe bigger, counting the fluffiness of his new feathers. Yet, the mother felt obligated to keep feeding that big, perfectly formed beak, and go after more.

I too, have a baby bird that is now bigger than me. Perfectly formed and (on occasion) quite loud. It looks, sometimes, like he can fly just fine. Then there are other times when the new fluff in his feathers slows him down, or he miscalculates the landing. Or he thinks he is sneaking up on that juicy worm, but he doesn’t realize the noise he is making by humming to himself, “gonna getcha, gonna eatcha, yummy, yummy,” and the worm (unbelievably) gets away.

But he is perfect. And he learns fast. He doesn’t need much from me anymore. Soon I won’t have to feed him at all. Then I will probably overeat.

Sorry. That was awful. Forget this business and tell me where you would rather live (see previous post).

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