Every day I take a large bowl of dried corn, sunflower seeds, and peanuts in the shell, and scatter the contents in the grass in front of our place. And every day, a wide assortment of squirrels and birds flock to our yard to scavenge for the food.
We get mourning doves and finches, shy cardinals, and the occasional grackle or starling. Today, a new bird came by. It had a shiny, dark blue head with a brown body, and looked somewhat like a cowbird.
It hopped about on the grass picking up pieces of broken corn, but it didn’t eat the corn. No, it held each in its beak, until pieces started falling out. It would pick up a piece, a piece would fall out. It would pick up that piece, and another would fall out. This went on for some time until the bird suddenly stopped cold, not moving a muscle. You could see the glimmer of something in its eye. Somewhere in its little head, it discovered cause and effect. No longer trying to get every last piece of corn, it was content with what it had and flew off.
Later, I took our recycling to the bins that the town road crew maintain for resident use. At the stop light, out of habit, I glanced in my rear view mirror. Behind me, in one of those tiny little mini Coopers, or whatever they are called, was this huge man stuffed into that car—hunched over the steering wheel, his head tilted down so it wouldn’t bang into the ceiling, and filling the front seat of his car like a big ass fills a tight pair of jeans.
As I watched in fascination, he picked up this absolutely enormous sandwich in one of his hands and took a monstrous bite. I could actually see the pattern of the bite; a perfect half moon shape cut deep into the bread.
The light changed just as the hand holding the sandwich began to rise again, and I continued on my errand. As I turned down the side road to the center, a gust of wind blew thousands of feathery seed pods through the air that swirled softly white around me. I don’t know what they’ll be when they sprout, but I bet they won’t be as beautiful.