Monday, September 10, 2007

They tried to make me go to rehab

L and I were taking our morning walk when we passed by two birds trapped in a steel holding cabinet for silver tanks. The cabinet was essentially long steel rods surrounded by steel mesh on the top and sides with a door on the front side locked by a combination lock. The bottom of the cabinet was open, which is how the birds flew in there.

We looked at the birds, who had worked themselves into quite a frenzy.

"You there!" one of the birds squeaked as he hopped from tank to tank. "Release us from this vile prison!"

"Just fly down!" I said pointedly, rolling my eyes.

"That's what you want us to think," the small brown bird said, staring at me through the mesh. The other bird was flapping hysterically at the top of the cabinet.

"I'll never get out! I'll never get out!" he screamed. "I'll never get out!" The first bird slapped the second with his wing as he too fluttered around the top. "Stop panicking!" he chirped. I rolled my eyes. Meanwhile, L and her bleeding heart had decided to go rescue the birds.

"Oh birdies!" she cried in anguish, clasping her hands together. She grasped the top of the cage and spoke to them emphatically. "Fly babies! Fly! Fly to the bottom! You can be free!"

"Worms! Worms!" cried the second bird, stabbing his beak through the mesh towards her fingers. "Worms! Tasty tasty worms!" L gasped and jerked her hands back just in time to avoid the curious little beak. "Worms!" the bird howled in anguish, anxiously fluttering in the corner of the cabinet.

"Whadda want for my freedom?" the first bird sneered at me. "An acorn? A locus?"

"I don't want anything," I snapped in exasperation. "I just want you to shut up so L and I can finish the walk." L was now cooing to the second bird who was convinced he was having a drug-induced hallucination and that worms were dancing around him.

"Everyone's got a price," he smirked as he hopped around. I shook my head and looked at L.

"L, come on. They'll figure it out."

"But they're sad!!!" she wailed, trying to push leaves through the vents to the bird. The second bird burst into a new bout of hysterical fluttering. "The worms! The worms!" I sighed and watched her try to flush the birds out of the steel box.

"Doesn't he ever shut up?" The first bird looked at me, insulted at my lack of sympathy. "He's addicted to worms!" he snapped. "Show some compassion. He's detoxing!"

"Detoxing from worms," I shook my head. "Right. And what are you here for?"

"It wasn't mine," he snapped defensively. "I never saw it before." I nodded sarcastically, and he flapped his wings at me and continued to fly around the cabinet. He was hopping around on the tanks, muttering to himself. L cocked her head and looked at the side of the box.

"I know!" she beamed, skipping to it's left side. "I'll just"-- As she walked to the box, the first bird hopped off the last row of tanks and swooped out from under the box into the open air. L squealed and hopped away as his feathers passed within an inch of his face.

"I'm free!" he cackled as he flew by me. "They'll never catch me, those silver birds! They can't get me now!" He laughed as he flew into a nearby tree. The second bird, now doubly terrified because he was alone, flopped anxiously in the box.

"Worms!" he shrieked. "Where are my worms? Worms!"

"Dumb birds," I muttered, as I dragged away a wailing L who was now trying to overturn the cabinet to rescue the second bird. The second bird was now shrieking and calling to the first bird, who chirped comfortably from a tree. "Dumb, dumb bird. "

"He's not dumb," L said defensively. "He's just, he's just"--

"What?" I said pointedly, knowing there was no way she could defend the idiotic birds.

"He's in rehab," she said decisively. Despite myself, I laughed.

Three hours later, the bird was still in the box throwing himself against steel mesh repeatedly. L, even now more concerned by the suspiciously retarded bird, rushed over to save the bird. The bird suddenly dove head first into the ground and swooped back up and under the cabinet into the open air like his friend. Excited he was now free from the dreaded box he'd been imprisoned in, he landed on the grass near the propane cabinet.

"Worms!" he cried happily, pecking at the ground. "Worms, worms, worms!"

Looking at L, I said dryly, "I don't think rehab worked."

"Worms, worms, worms," the second bird sang happily, shivering to himself in delight. When we passed the area later in the afternoon, we saw a tiny handwritten sign stuck into the ground.

"Hello, my name is Bird. And I'm addicted to worms."