Monday, September 30, 2013

On the wings of thought

This morning, as I drove to work along a quiet suburban street, I had to tap on the brakes at an unexpected moment. As I cruised down the road, I saw a bird crossing the street. It was not a chicken and I was uninterested in its motives so I kept driving. I had, what I suspected, was a reasonable thought process going. I figured that he (or she, I don't wish to run a fowl of any gender issues) would choose to fly away as my car approach. If the bird chose to stand there and challenge me, I would be like a tank in Tiananman Square circa 1989 and drive around him, and then embrace capitalism. Maybe I would just smoosh him.

So what did the bird do? And I remind you, this was not a duckling waddling behind a mommy duck, headed on a pilgrimage to the Boston Garden to watch the Bruins. This was a pigeon. Maybe a quail or a grouse. But not a duck. I wouldn't even like to buy a duck. This bird kept walking across the street. He picked up the pace a bit, but he kept walking.

Before you say anything, he, after getting to the curb, flew away.

He knew he had wings. He consciously chose to walk across the street. Now, I know that I often get angry too easily but I think this situation merits my ire. That bird knew he could fly whenever he wanted to and he decided that, at that moment, with a minivan bearing down on him, walking was his best option. I have composed a series of possibilities:

1. He is the ultimate lazy slacker, unappreciative of his natural gifts, letting them fust in him, unused. I see in this the criticism I have of many of the young people -- they can do so much more but they choose not to. Very frustrating. Even some squirrels who can't fly still try to fly. The least this bird could do would be to try.

2. He is not that smart and didn't realize either that he could fly (until he reconsidered the situation at the curb and said "maybe I could have handled that differently...let's see if these wings are of any use") or that flight was his best option at the moment. Maybe he wanted to fly but the message moved too slowly from his bird-brain to his wings and by the time he took off, he actually had no interest in flying. Then we should have a sign that says "Caution, slow birds."

3. He is a spiteful little flying rat who knew this would drive me into a rage.

People ask me why I am not a vegetarian and I tell them that I think that the animals deserve to be eaten.

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