A Tree Just Outside the Olympic Stadium
A mamma bird and a pappa bird sit in their nest. “Move over, Hal, your wing is in my side,” chirped an annoyed Lydia.
“Sorry, Dear,” a belittled Hal answered as he hopped outside the nest entirely and onto the branch. The look of a defeated husband just tossed outside of his
bed house splayed across his face. Between them and the three eggs there really wasn’t all the much room in the nest at all these days.
“And what in the world is all that noise?!” shrieked Lydia. It was to be one of those mornings established Hal to himself.
“I was curious about all of the hulla-ba-lub myself,” remarked Hal.
“Well, don’t just sit there and dally the day away,” started Lydia, “they don’t come up with those stupid ‘the early bird gets the worm’ sayings for nothing, do they?”
Hal flit off the branch as instructed, secretly not all that displeased with the opportunity to get the he** out of the nest.
* * *
Three days later two little baby birds had emerged, one little egg remained, and the hulla-ba-lub had been upgraded to a melee.
“Feed me! Feed me!” the everconstant din from the twins’ mouths.
“Hal, what in the world is going on over there! This is driving me INSANE!!!” Lydia’s temper had been upgraded as well, Hal hadn’t found a word that really could fully describe her mood…it seemed no word could give this kind of mood justice.
“I’ve spent a lot of time watching, Dear,” Hal attempted to placate her today, “and I do have to say it’s been rather entertaining.”
“Entertaining is it?” Lydia seemed on the verge of being slightly interested or headed down the road of a volatile explosion.
Hal proceeded with caution, “Well, yes. It seems these bi-peds are having a contest of some sorts. The rules are a little wacky but I think I’m starting to get the hang of it.”
“Do tell,” Lydia seemed to be on the side of interested.
“What they do?!” squeaked two chicks.
“Looks like they have rounds,” started in Hal. “Over there is where you start, way off in the grass fields over there. When one of the really big bi-peds has to find a rock. They chuck the rock as far as they can and try to grunt as loudly as possible. I assume the louder the grunt, the stronger the person, and the more points they get.”
“But the ones who can’t find a rock to throw get a penalty and they are corralled over there to that red oval. This is their first shot to try and make back some points. They line they up on one of those straight-a-ways and a man fires a gun into the air. The gun gets fired once and they run the full length of that straight-a-way to get away. I assume the guy who makes it there last gets shot as punishment.”
“Humph,” Lydia prompts Hal to speed up.
“The ones who didn’t get there first or last get shuffled on to the next round. They go into the middle of the red oval and start doing jumps. They really look like a bunch of trained circus dogs, you know, we saw those come to town last year…what fun was that?! I really thought Fido…”
“Sorry, back on track. They jump into a sandy pit and get as dirty as possible and then they try and jump up over this beam thing. The funniest part is that in the end they try and fly…you know it’s sad really how pathetic those land walkers are. I feel bad for them, but at some point they really just have to accept they aren’t meant to fly.”
“How are they trying this time? I hope not as ridiculous as those metal birds, or those balloons! The big balloons are the best, I’d like to just pop one one day!” Lydia
“They use this big long pole and hoist themselves into the air. It’s a pretty lame attempt as they don’t even really make it very far and land on a pillow.”
“See, they already knew they would fail.”
“I suppose. Well, by this point the bi-peds have been given lots of chances to try and win some kind of event. The person who wins an event of course doesn’t have to go through the humiliation of the next round. There are still a few pathetic ones that even after the throwing, gun dashing, hopping, and fly-trying are still coming up short.”
“Those must be some real losers,” remarks Lydia.
“They just fall down?” asks Lydia, a little glee in her voice.
“Maybe they are just dizzy from running in circles? I’m not totally sure, or maybe their weak little legs are tired.”
“But how do they find out who wins in that event?” asks Lydia.
“Aha, this one, well, I told you these bi-peds are a little kooky. The same guy from earlier shoots the gun, they make them run all these laps and suddenly one of them rings a bell…”
“Bell, bell, bell!” chant the twins.
“Well, the bell means that they have to run one more time around the red oval. That’s their last shot to try and make it around the red oval and they all seem to be pretty motivated to pick it up if they can…I even saw a few of them shove the other one with their featherless wings. Sometimes their skinny legs get tangled up and they fall…”
“Why are the ones running in circles so skinny?” asks Lydia.
“I think by this point going through all the rounds tires them out. Anyways, the bi-ped who makes it to the white line after that final lap wins and is safe.” finishes Hal.
“What happens to the rest of them?” asks Lydia, she is the most entertained Hal’s seen her in months.
“Well, they look pretty glum, I think they all get tossed into a pit of fire.” says Hal.
“Yea, they bring in this blazing torch at the beginning of this game thing. They keep it there burning in the corner I think as an incentive, or twisted reminder for the bi-peds to try their hardest. The losers must just get torched,” observes Hal.
Before Lydia has a chance to return a comment one of the rocks the bi-peds had been hurling goes long, much longer than any of the rest. It slams into the bottom of the tree. The third egg cracks open and a third chick pops out. He immediately starts screaming for food. Lydia starts screaming at Hal to get food. Hal flies off in search of more worms…he thinks to himself, “Oh well, sometimes it’s better outside the nest…maybe I’ll even get to see this big pit of fire.”