December 11, 2021

“For a moment, I wonder if she had something to do with it...”

 An excerpt from “Trouble and Strife,” by Johanne Levesque 

At lunch time, I call the children in to eat.  Melvin comes with Timmy, his Jack Russell, and a bird in his hands.  “Look what I have!”  The children gather around him.  Gloria finds a box, puts a towel at the bottom and Melvin places the bird gently in the box on the counter top.  “I was shooting spit balls at the tree with my slingshot when I heard Timmy bark.  This bird must have fallen from a tree in the neighbour’s yard and their cat looked like it was going to pounce on it.  Timmy dug a hole under the fence, picked up the robin, and brought it to me.”

“Is that bird going to chirp so loud all day and night?” asked Evelyn.

“We will have to find worms to feed it.  It’s chirping because it’s hungry,” says Melvin.

I tell Melvin that I have a syringe we can use to give it water.

“What are we going to call him?” asks Gloria.

“Birdie, we can call him Birdie,” says Alvin.

“Well I’m not going to feed it.  It’s very annoying with its chirping all day.  I want nothing to do with it.  We should leave it outside to fend for itself.  Let nature take its course,” Evelyn protests and walks out the door.

All day the other children look for worms in the back yard.  Every time anyone walks past Birdie, its beak is wide open and he chirps loudly to get fed.  Timmy sleeps at the foot of the counter, guarding the baby bird.  Every day after school, the children take Birdie outside on the porch.

One morning we find the bird dead with its neck broken.  We have a little ceremony in the backyard and bury it.  Evelyn says, “I’m glad I won’t hear that incessant chirping.  It was driving me nuts.”

For a moment, I wonder if she had something to do with it...I have crazy thoughts sometimes.  She would not do that.  Would she?

If you liked this excerpt from Trouble and Strife, you can buy the book at any of the following links:

Austin Macauley Publishers™ (my publisher)
Barnes & Noble