NOV 26, 2001
This morning after walking with my parents to visit an especially beautiful ravine at the edge of THE GREAT SPIRIT WILDERNESS, the banks of which were carpeted with multi-hued fallen leaves, I left them to hitch a ride back into town with my wife, and walked back toward the alligator ranch house.
About half-way down I heard a flock of tiny birds calling to one another high in some nearby trees. I did not have my contact lenses on and thus was far too blind to see what species they all were, but detected the raspy sounds of chickadees and titmice.
The last few times I had attempted to call little birds to come and pay me a personal visit I had not been successful and they ignored me and went on about their business. Today however, I felt in tune with the little creatures and so began to call them. At least a dozen immediately flew down from the tops of the trees and surrounded me in the under-story and mid-story vegetation, scolding me at the tops of their shrill little voices.
A couple of chickadees almost perched on my head so that they would be better able to punish me for disturbing their flock, which was traveling south in front of a cold front. I talked to them awhile and then apologized to them for my rudeness in calling them over to me. By that time there were about 20 members of their club that wished to tell me hello and good-by, including a little woodpecker and a brown creeper that flew down right in front of my face and then crept up an adjoining tree almost within my grasp.
I wished them bon voyage and only hope and pray that when they arrive at their winter destination they do not find that their forest home has been destroyed by clear-cutting, urban sprawl or find a cattle ranch where they and their ancestors had lived in peace for thousands of years. Every year their numbers keep dwindling as they die of starvation from having had their homes destroyed by ethically corrupt and greedy humans who are hell-bent on desecrating Planet Eden and all of Gods little birds dependent thereon.
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