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Thanksgiving For The Birds
by Amy Kenneley

Scene: The Bluebird Box on the meadow fence

Time: Before dawn, Thanksgiving day. Bill Bluebird wakes Bonnie Bluebird.

"Tweetle, tweetle, dear. Come on, rise and shine!"

"It isn't even light out, Bill-what's the rush?" "You know what day this is, don't you? Come on, we want a good seat!"

"Oh, my wings are so sore, I didn't sleep at all last night. The wind kept me up."

"There's no wind now-just chilly. Come on, we'll do a few wing stretches by the dead tree, grab a few grubs for breakfast and we're good to go."

"All right, but I don't know why you get so worked up over this Thanksgiving..it's a Human thing, you know."

Bill and Bonnie do their morning wing stretches, grub out, and find a branch seat by their Human house window.

" What time did you get up, Bill?

"When the Human lights went on in the food place, it woke me up. So I watched Her doing the food things for the meal. Boy, we are lucky we can just eat on the fly. Humans have to do all sorts of things to have a meal."

"If they weren't so picky they wouldn't. Oh, isn't this the day ---"

"Yes, I'm afraid they did. Old Tom is inside that hot box thing right now. But don't fret dear, it was his fate. Just be glad we aren't more than a mouthful."

"Then tell me why we are sitting on this cold branch when we could be snug in our box?

"Guess I'm just sentimental. I love to watch all the hustle and bustle, the little fledglings running around-makes me remember when our kids were just hatched"

"And the sleepless nights and the endless hunt for grubs, and remember that year we couldn't find mosquitoes at all?"

"Okay, okay, but the Humans have had some hard times, too. Remember that broken wing thing when He didn't go out? That must have been hard."

"Well, yes, that probably was. Good thing you have always been healthy, Bill"

"Oh look, He's making smoke from the chimney. Let's get upwind, Bonnie-you don't want your feathers sooted."

"Logs burning mean more Humans coming soon-yep, here come some more now."

"They are a noisy bunch, though, aren't they, Bonnie? We must have become used to those sounds living so close, but when there are more Humans---"

"Yes, they do get loud. But it seems to be a happy kind of loud, sort of like our Spring Song when the whole flock gets together."

"Oh look-they are all doing that jump-up-and-down thing around that box with lights."

"It's called a television, Bonnie. I found that out from some robins last year. It isn't real the way the Humans are, but they think it is."

"Well, let's not tell them then, if it makes them happy."

"Here, here it comes, watch this. They all flock to that place to eat."

"And sit to eat, too. That seems like a nice way to grub down. Why don't we ever do that, Bill?"

"Hush now, it's their way, that's all. Now here comes the part I like-all those plates of their grub being brought in. Humans have so many good things to eat. I just love to guess what all those things are, don't you?"

"The part I like, Bill, is that everyone's together, like a very good flock should be."

"Well, I've heard from some of the guys at the feeder- the ones who really migrate-that sometimes Humans aren't like that."

"What-not be good to each other?"

"Yes-some Humans-just like those very nice ones down below-don't treat each other nice at all."

"What a shame! They are all the same species, aren't they? Where would Bluebirds be if we acted that way?"

Maybe we can't judge them by our standards, Bonnie, so we need to set an example. After all, we aren't called the Bluebirds of Happiness for nothing."

"I wish I could send some of our happiness out to them, then, especially since this is their Big Grub Day. The wind's shifting, Bill. That smoke is making me all sooty now, let's go."

"Okay, but---wait! Here's the best part of their Big Grub Day. I don't quite understand it, but it seems it is part of their ritual. Look, all of them are beak down and closing their eyes."

"Is it some kind of secret signal they are sending to each other?

"Or to Some One."

"It must be that they don't eat until they do this signal thing, and then everyone shares. That's nice. We're lucky to live in such a nice neighborhood."

"But it isn't just our neighborhood doing this. Humans all over, as far as we can ever fly, are doing the same thing."

"Eating together?"

"Some are together in big flocks. Some are alone, though. It seems to be a day for Humans to be together, but some get left out."

"Well, you would think the other Humans would gather in the left-out ones, wouldn't you?"

"You would think."

"If I were alone I would be very thankful to have someone to share a few bugs with."

"You're right-there is a chill in the air. Let's fly over to the suet cake that the Humans put out this morning before we head home. There could be some choice bugs in the fat."

"But they're dried, dear, I hate dried"

"Hey, be thankful!"

And off they flew.

Bluebirds Thanksgiving

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