Tuesday, September 10, 2013



I watched a Chickadee fly under our verandah the other day, right near the spot where a Morning Dove is bringing up two youngsters- in a nest, housed in an old, wooden Clementine Orange box. The Chickadee was fluttering back and forth from a light suspended from the verandah ceiling to the bargeboard that trims our verandah. It appeared that she wanted to visit the baby birds in the box. From that observance comes this "quirky" short story.

Henrietta Chickadee had been a Chickadee for as long as she could remember. 

She thought it had been at least four summers since she had left her parent’s nest. It’s just that she had been so busy since, she had lost track of the time. This particular late summer morning Henrietta was swooping high above the Maple Tree in the Shenanigan’s front yard. As she looked downward Rex- the Shenanigan’s black Labrador, was laying quietly in the shade of the Maple’s huge leafy branches. A stainless steel bowl of fresh, cool water sat on the grass nearby. 

Henrietta was glad she was a Chickadee and not a pussy cat or a big dog- like Rex. As she skimmed past the uppermost branches of the tree, she could see Mr. Dungerman had started to deliver the mail to the households along Beech Street below. It must be close to nine in the morning what with Mr. Dungerman starting his Beech Street route and all. She had better head over to Doris Dove’s place right away. 

Doris had been sitting on that nest of hers for a month- probably almost two, as she hatched and then nursed her kids. Doris had had two families that summer- one back in mid-June and now another much later in the summer. Howard- Doris husband of several years, was a Catholic and it wouldn’t do if he didn’t have at least four, maybe even six chicks each and every summer. Doris was a good bird wife and accepted his advances willingly. It wasn’t that bad really. Howard was an attentive father and helped Doris with the chores and even fed the kids right alongside his lovely Dove wife. 

The light morning breeze felt refreshing against Henrietta’s little face as she flew to Doris’s Nest. Henrietta had dropped by the nest the day before- just to say hi. That was when Doris asked if she would be able to kid-sit for an hour or so. Doris had been longing to fly down to the park with Howard and sit on one of the water-washed rocks along the shoreline and just look out at the water.
Henrietta was glad to say yes.
Anything for a feathered friend and Doris was a fine one. 

Henrietta flew quickly to the Ringwald’s house next door and carefully swooping under the ceiling of the front verandah, she arrived right on Doris’ neststep- right on time.

“Morning Doris!”- she chirped.

“Hi there Girl!”- I’ll be right there. I’m just fluffing my wings.”

“Take your time Honey”- chirped Henrietta. “I am in no rush. I’ll say hi to the kids.”

Henrietta was stroking each of the baby dove’s heads just as Doris appeared from the upper reaches of the nest.

“Well, how do I look Dear?” Doris fluffed.

“Wonderful!”- says Henrietta, “And look, don’t worry about a thing. Just have a good time.”


Doris smiled and wrapped her left wing around Henrietta’s little birdie body.
“What did I do to deserve you as a friend?”

“Nonsense”- said Henrietta, blushing just a bit. “Now you run along and have a wonderful morning. The kids and I will be just fine. Oh. They aren’t leaving the nest yet- are they?”

Doris chuckled- “Oh Goodness no but I am hoping by the end of the week. Either they fly on their own or I’ll shove the little buggers out myself!”

“As if!”- Henrietta laughed and dropped a small pile of bird poop in the middle of Doris’ nest.

“Shit! I’m so sorry. I’ll get that. Where’s your broom and dustpan?”

Doris pointed towards the kitchen- “It’s behind the pantry door. Listen I’ll leave you to it. Gotta fly!”

“You do that and I’ll see you later. Have a great time.” Henrietta disappeared into the kitchen.

Shoving off from her front door, Doris swept up from under the edge of the verandah roof into the morning sun. Soon, she was feeling it’s warm rays dancing off her wings. 

She set off across Beech Street rising up higher into the air just above the Peckerman’s front porch. As she did so, she let fly two huge dollops of pure, white Dove excrement right on the front steps. At about the same time, Mr. Dungerman was climbing those same steps to deliver the monthly bill from Canadian Tire to Alice and George Peckerman’s mailbox. 

Mr. Dungerman didn’t see the two huge dollops of poo land on the second rise of the Peckerman’s front steps. In a flash of a moment, Mr. Dungerman slipped on the gooey poop, tumbling backwards into the air, where he landed hard on the cement walkway below. Letters and bills flew everywhere. With the brute force of the backwards somersault and subsequent landing on the hard stone, Mr. Dungerman broke his arm and was off work for two months- recuperating.

The End