"The Bird," is a short story about myself and three other guys who work at a bakery. Like any job, at times, it can be quite mundane. It was for us until we adopted a family of birds!
Four grown men, sitting at a picnic table, on a concrete slab, in an empty parking lot. Having a cup of coffee, before starting another day of work. Four men, more concerned with the responsibilities of work and home, then the joys of everyday life. I was one of these four men, along with Randy, Jerry, and John. We probably would have never met, if not for our job. It was through this job, that we became more then co-workers. A simple pride in what we do and how we do it, bonds us together. Overtime, our morning get togethers got to be mundane and repetitive. That is until a couple of gold finches, decided to make a telephone pole, their home.
Over the weeks, our conversations, came back to life. We watched and learned from these beautiful yellow birds. Finally, we could hear the sounds of a new family! Now we watched the parents start their non-stop search for food. Then we could see a head peek out from the nest and our talks wondered how many babies were in the little nest. The big day came and the babies were forced from their nest, by their parents. Randy watched most of the action from his desk. Not quite certain how to fly, the babies fell to the hot asphalt alley, chirping for mom and dad. By morning break, Randy and I found two of them. One perched on top of a shed, while the other clung to a pick-up windshield. We went back to work, thinking our young friends would be fine. We felt like proud grandparents watching them leave the nest. Our pride turned to fear, as a heavy rainstorm developed.
After the rain, Randy and I looked for the babies. One was on the wires, by the nest. The other, laid on the ground, shivering and drenched from the rain. The parents were quiet, thinking, like me, it was a lost cause. I wrapped the baby in a clean rag, trying to keep him warm. When the sun came out, Randy moved the rag by the picnic table and opened it. The bird was still shivering and wet, but the sun started to do its work. Within an hour, the baby was dry and full of life. The parents chirping again, flying over our heads, trying to keep us away from their child.
Later that day, he was flying with his siblings and parents. There were four feathered youngsters, all together. There was also four proud grandparents! The next morning our hearts were broken, when we saw that the nest was abandoned. Off in the distance, we could see them, flying between an Oak tree and a Maple. They do come back, every three days or so, to let us know they're OK. For a short time, the parents entered our world and let us celebrate their family with them. It brought out the little boys in us and let us throw away responsibilities for awhile and just enjoy the beauty of life.