Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Singing in the Rain

Scurrying down the sidewalk, I huddled under my umbrella and listened to the rain sprinkle against the pavement. As I passed a tree, I heard a dozen voices squeak. Stopping, I cocked my head and listened as peeps and squeaks and twitters poured from the tree.

"Fledglings, fledglings!" a older-sounding bird squawked. "Stop squeaking and squawking! It's time to begin."

The baby birds twittered in protest, their squeaks piercing the sky. The older bird launched into a scolding squall, and they quieted. After a moment of silence, the song began with some tentative squeaking. As their confidence grew, the tiny birds' voices rang loud and clear with the sound of rain softly falling against the pavement in the background.

Their voices rose to a high note as thunder cracked across the sky and dropped back into a whisper as it rumbled from deep beneath the clouds. As the rain poured around me, their song weaved through the rain drops in ribbons of joy and glee.

As soon as it had begun, it was over. The older bird clapped his wings together. "Bravo and brava, young fledglings!" he cried. "I believe that was your best choir practice yet."

"I don't know why we have to sing in the rain," one of the baby birds whined. "The sparrows don't have to sing in the rain. They're all curled up in their nest eating worms."

"I wish we could eat worms," another bird grumbled.

"I wish we could curl up in a nest," a third sighed. The older bird shook his head and waved his arms.

"You've got it all wrong!" he argued, his scratchy voice tearing at my ears. "You should be glad you're out here singing, even if it's raining."

"Why?" all the birds asked in unison.

A smile stretched across the older bird's beak. "Because singing is an act of joy," he said, holding his wings out wide. "You are bringing all the animals around here joy during a bleak and dull day. You are bringing a little sunshine in their life."

"That's why we're singing in the rain!" a baby bird chirped excitedly. The older bird nodded and the little birds burst into song again. I smiled and continued on my walk, their eager voices serving as a cheerful accompaniment.

For every day, no matter whether there was sun or clouds, the baby birds were singing in the rain.