“The (Little) Birds,” Continued

INTERIOR Mt. Washington LIVING ROOM, early evening. Toys, stuffed animals, and random articles of children’s clothing abound.  Order does not. It is still daylight, but the room is flooded with the rays of a lowering sun. A WOMAN stands at a picture window, gazing worriedly out at a lemon tree. Her HUSBAND enters the room and slowly approaches.

HUSBAND

Honey? You OK?

The woman only sighs, and says nothing. She shakes her head, looking desperate.

HUSBAND

What’s going on? What’s the matter?

WOMAN

The parents. I think they’re gone.

HUSBAND

The…parents? Of who?

WOMAN

Of the chicks! The baby birds.

The man shoots her a skeptical look.

WOMAN

I’m serious! They’ve been crying for food for a few minutes now. No one has come. What if the grownups died?

HUSBAND

You’re kidding, right?

WOMAN

No! They could’ve been eaten by a crow, or run over, or —

HUSBAND

Eaten by a crow?

WOMAN

I don’t know. Or a hawk. It’s rough out there.

HUSBAND

I thought you wanted them all dead anyway.

WOMAN

I told you I was kidding. God, honey. What am I going to do?

HUSBAND

What are you going to do?

WOMAN

If they don’t come back.

HUSBAND

Ummm, I think…you’re going to let nature take its course.

WOMAN

Excuse me? I can’t believe you’d say that. And let the babies starve?

HUSBAND

Well —

WOMAN

That’s awful.

HUSBAND

Wow.

The woman begins to pace. She twists her hair distractedly.

WOMAN

They need to eat all day. Where am I going to get worms? I mean, enough? Yeah, there are some in the garden, but it’ll take me forever to dig them up. Damn soil. Plus I always end up cutting them in half with the shovel. Will they eat half worms? And water. Shit! Do they need it? I could put out a bowl. Oh! And I can’t touch them. Right? Because if I do they’ll never be allowed in bird society again? Is that true? What if I touch them by accident? I’ll wear food service gloves. Agh! I’m out of them! How am I going to do this and also watch MJ? And the dog! How am I —

A bird sweeps past the window and lands in the lemon tree.

HUSBAND

And there’s mommy.

WOMAN

Oh, thank God.

She turns to her husband and grins haplessly.

WOMAN

I was really worried, there!

He stares at her levelly, and then leaves the room. The woman turns back to the window and waves at the bird.

WOMAN

You’re a sight for sore eyes!

She watches for a few minutes, then exhales, shakes her head, and begins picking up toys. To the sound of birdsong we FADE TO BLACK.

3 thoughts on ““The (Little) Birds,” Continued

  1. Pingback: To Done 4-23 « thumbstumbler

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