I must say that it was a very idiosyncratic, very surreal day in the life of Cheeseboy today. I woke up eager to get the school year started right, but was stopped short 20 feet out of my driveway.
There is a 13 year old, moppy haired, dopey kid that lives up the street from us. However, he really is a nice kid and I even tutored him for a bit while he was in 6th grade. As I am driving down the street, he flags me down. "ABE, ABE! STOP!" Worried for his well being, I pull over in a lurch. "Nick, what is it? What's the matter?" He says, "There is a bird in the middle of the road and it won't move! I am afraid that the magpies will get it."
Now I am not sure of magpie rituals or habits but the magpies were clearly swirling overhead. I am also not sure if magpies will eat other birds or if they were just tormenting it, but Nick was overly concerned for it's safety. Clearly, I need to update my knowledge of what magpies actually do. What is their purpose? Are they simply bird bullies? I inform Nick that I don't have time for this. "Nick, this is the first day of school. I really need to get going." But the look of dread on Nick's face was too much.
Flustered, I quickly get out of the vehicle. I am now on a rescue mission to save a perishing, marooned sky rat. "I am not sure what you want me to do Nick? I am NOT TOUCHING THAT THING!", I say as I stand, semi-hunched over the bird while Nick circles it. The boy, clearly unafraid of catching the bird flu informs me that he has an idea.
The dance begins with the 13 year old squirt placing his foot out in front of the bird, introducing it as a sort of a size 10 Nike perch for the fledging sky creature. "What is it that you plan to do Nick?" I ask. "You'll see", he replies, while he steadies his other foot. He then uses his second foot as a sort of scooting system, gently shoving the bird onto the shoelaced perch. Once the injured bird is comfortably on his shoe, he slides gracefully through the street like an injured pedestrian that just so happens to have a large fowl on the tip of his shoe.
The dance finally ends as he reaches the grassy parking strip and dumps the bird in a heap. The bird falls, gathers itself and then immediately flies into the nearest tree. We look at each other, stunned. Why didn't the bird just fly into the tree into the first place? Why go through this entire Junior High charade? The best I can figure is that it was a bird with a sinister sense of humor. He was probably up in that tree, laughing his tail feathers off at us. He probably even had his bird buddies take pictures of the whole polka and place them on his bird blog, The Blog O' Bird.
The event came to a close as I said, "Gotta go Nick. See you later." Nick however, still had his eyes in the trees. He was watching the magpies circle the nearby house. Instead of saying goodbye as I drove off, he simply said, "Geez, I hope those magpies leave that bird alone!" He was still standing there, eyes on the skies when I reached the corner. I am sure he was late for Junior High.
I need to start taking a camera wherever I go.