I love wildlife and live in southern Minnesota in the heart of the Minnesota River Valley where my daily visitors are about 50 different types of birds, deer, coyotes, foxes and even the occasional wolf. One of my greatest joys is keeping the many bird and deer feeders in my yard teeming with goodies so that I can sip my morning cup of coffee and enjoy the view. Yes, I even have binoculars in my window (and not because I spy on my neighbors!). I just love to look at the birds.
Maybe it’s because I’m a writer (maybe it’s just because I’m weird), but when I see a group of birds I like to imagine their birdy conversations.
“Did you see Hazel’s new baby?” The bird on the far right asks.
Voices tumble over each other as they perch securely on their social structure:
“”I didn’t! Quit your yakking and spill! What’s up with Hazel’s kid?”
“He’s well, he’s . . . different.”
Just then a new little bird flits by. You guessed it. Hazel’s kid in all his multi-colored glory. I can almost hear their gasps from my living room.
“Well, I never!”
“How dare he?”
“Poor Hazel. She’ll never poke her beak out of the nest again!”
You can hear them too, can’t you? Gossiping about Hazel and her scandalously different child. (Maybe you even feel like Hazel’s kid sometimes. I know I do.)
Here’s what I think Hazel’s kid (and you and I) should do: Ignore that flock of chattering know-it-alls. Sure, they’re experts on peer pressure and blending in and hiding their uniqueness, but they don’t know squat about The Artist with the wild and uncontainable imagination who painted each of us to be a one of a kind masterpiece. He wants us to share our differences with the world. Why else would he have painted us all these screwball colors?