About The Bird

Cindy Schnackel

I was invited to one of those huggy, huggy group meetings. You know, the type where everyone reveals inner lies about themselves, others, and the world around them. Well, we soon started picking out animal personalities for each other, which sucked, because someone else chose what animal you were. So, right off the perch, things weren’t going to be honest, just brutal like a writers’ workshop. There were cougars, bears, eagles, dolphins—lions, owls, deer, and yadda, yadda. Me? I was a bird. Not a specific bird, just a generic, B-I-R-D, bird. That’s the word. Not an avian personality like a bluebird or gold finch, but a plain old bird. What were they trying to tell me?  All I could do was pretend it was a compliment. My feathers weren’t ruffled and I didn’t chirp up. I wouldn’t dare peep in public.

If I was to be a bird, then I must be a flightless bird. After all, I drove ten miles to attend the meeting.  Somewhere, back in my sordid evolution, I had the ability to fly. Now, for reasons of survival, that ability was lost, because I wanted to drive a Prius, Passat, or Volvo and feel good about it. I developed a quick, efficient waddle that could outrun stupidity. Unfortunately, stupidity is stubborn and I have had to keep running, continuously. My beak became sharper. I needed the perk to peck the shit out of anyone who was particularly problematic. My eyes moved to the front of my head from the sides, so I could see who was insulting me and who I insulted back. I went for easy prey, foraging in schools of overpriced degrees, chewing on grants, choking on loans, leading to a career inside an aviary called community college. This led to teaching kids who don’t read, who prefer spark notes instead of critical thinking. Thinking is for the birds. Go America. I watched out for (not always successfully) bigger hunters who would kill my personality. They fed voraciously upon individuality like it was Tweety’s feed, spewing out rotten eggs of ego during union meetings. I would mate with those of my kind, but since none of us could fly we kept to ourselves. Occasionally a kindly scientist patted me on the head and gave me a treat, but they always wanted something in return.

So, the meeting was a success, yes I’m a bird. I’ve now been caged.  But, I’m going home proud. You’ve heard about migration, so I’m going to get seasonal. By the time you hear my birdsong. I’ll be long gone. I just need to find my keys.

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49 Responses to About The Bird

  1. Fijay says:

    Why am I laughing at this when I should be crying …you are a very VERY clever poet

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Now that’s what I call 24 carat Irony.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Rae Longest says:

    Too funny because it is too true. Very cleverly done!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “All I could do was pretend it was a compliment. My feathers weren’t ruffled and I didn’t chirp up. I wouldn’t dare peep in public.”

    That’s why you’re a bird.

    But you can pick a species. You can get your turkey on and kick some ass.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is beautifully expressed. What a challenge you were given. Being a bird, go get back your wings and show them how you can fly like no other bird. By the way the symbolism for birds is very beautiful, looking at it from another direction, you might find yourself soaring and comfortably driving your Passat.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I can’t say what kind of bird I would be, but in that kind of situation I would definitely lay an egg.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. VictoryInTrouble says:

    Excellent! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. realfreebird says:

    this was so refreshingly clever, bravo!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. willowwrites says:

    Eat a few berries and then perch on the wire above their Jaguars.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Reblogged this on lillian y wong and commented:
    A great blog from Elan Mudrow that should be shared!


    Liked by 2 people

  11. Pingback: About The Bird | lillian y wong

  12. alphaandkat says:

    Excellent and witty… great writing.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Being a flightless bird would suck. Especially when there are hungry cats about.

    Very clever post EM.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Tori V says:

    …… “I needed the perk to peck the shit out of anyone who was particularly problematic”…

    #angrybirds ☺. You really stayed in the bird context! all the way!👍. Loved the story, brilliant!. Every sentence made me want to read the next! So i read it all and re-read some parts to get a good laugh which I hadnt done the first time as I was too curious to know the ending👍

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Just Joan says:

    This is excellent. You have more in common with birds than you thought, at least, with your particular evolutionary twists. Don’t all birds love Volvos and want to teach at community college? If I have to be a bird, I’m going to be an ostrich with my head in the sand, at least for the rest of election season. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  16. elvagreen123 says:

    A wella everybody’s heard about the bird, bird, bird, bird, the bird is the word! You’re famous and didn’t know it! You are a bird with a witty brain.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Pingback: About The Bird — Elan Mudrow – lifecameos

  18. lifecameos says:

    This si so awful it is funny. Reblogged on “lifecameos”.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. bethanyk says:

    This was awesome

    Liked by 2 people

  20. I clicked on “Life Cameos” and I thought, What is this? It’s nothing like her site. I had to read it. I’ve been to writers groups like you wrote about. Once I left in tears and asked myself if I was a writer at all. I decided to leave that group before they stole my very soul. A sad tale, a funny tale, one that makes me think.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. katkent2014 says:

    Love this. I guess warping into a Peacock was totally out of the question and you could have spread your rainbow of feathers and gracefully left the room, crown and all.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Pity you are flightless cause I always thought that the ability to fly by and poop on someone’s head as an awesome ability! Enjoyed your squawking every much.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. This is absolutely delightful to read 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Sandra says:

    And you found your keys beneath your fingers.
    Off for the season, if not longer,

    Liked by 1 person

  25. niki-novak says:

    All I could think about was three things.
    Alfred Hitchcock’s Birds,
    The birds in Resident Evil 3, when they attack the children and Alice saves the day by catching the birds on fire with her mind….
    What a bird would mean in Gaelic form … http://livingartsoriginals.com/symbols-celtic.html
    …or Native American..Magical, shape shifting, change, creativity, spiritual strength, inelegance, energy, higher perspective.
    Some pagans believe that the bird is connected to the underworld.

    Either way, it really isn’t that bad to be a bird. You get to shit on people, all day, every day 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Very enjoyable and witty! Thanks for sharing it with us. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Katie Marie says:

    This made me feel both happy and a bit sad. It’s heartbreaking to see birds caged but then the idea of birds looking for their car keys made me laugh. I must admit I envy you your “quick, efficient waddle that could outrun stupidity.” I often feel the need to develop mine more.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Phil Huston says:

    I kept waiting for the euphemistic use of bird, or how many times the bird had been “shot.” Teach me to put my mind in the gutter of the obvious….

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Pingback: About The Bird — Elan Mudrow | Dystopia

  30. Reminds me of this gig we offer at my church called Making Peace. What struck me was your use of “inner lies.” Gorgeously articulated cynicism! And now I’m wondering if, when I attend these “huggy, huggy” retreats I ever get truth, from others or from myself. Certainly like you, I’m always purposeful about my presentation. Idk… lately I feel like Pontus Pilate. What IS truth?

    Liked by 2 people

  31. vivachange77 says:

    Funny and very clever. I think maybe you are a Wise Old Owl.

    Liked by 2 people

  32. kunstkitchen says:

    Thank you so much for your great wit. Ha! Wow! Is it really that bad? Yes. I suppose it is…very awkward.

    Liked by 2 people

  33. laibaswords says:

    This was totally amazing !

    Liked by 2 people

  34. You sound like a bird I know. Great piece. Unexpected refreshment in my inbox. So happy you chanced upon me so I could chance upon you. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. The irony in this is striking! That being said, go get those keys, nothing wrong with being a bird.

    Fly free soul! ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

  36. sanberdooboy says:

    blessed be those who play with alliteration: “I needed the perk to peck the shit out of anyone who was particularly problematic.” ah!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Shvyoh says:

    Lol the puns were heavily intended in this one. I love it

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Ogden Fahey says:

    Excellent! I couldn’t help thinking, hmm, cockroach, maggot, etc! Laughter therapy is always the best 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  39. dornahainds says:

    Hilarious. Fabulous.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Amie Sparks says:

    Spark notes instead of critical thinking… Well put Sir

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Diogo says:

    ‘stupidity is stubborn’… love it and will steal it!
    Refreshing, ironically sarcastic writing, with a great couple of last lines!!

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Tom Stump says:

    That was funny. I am now wondering where regurgitation fits into this. Purge!

    Liked by 1 person

  43. musebychance says:

    Paragraph 2, line 1 to 11. I can relate to. Have you ever felt like perhaps you’re an eagle but has to live in a Tweety cage?


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