Monday, March 9, 2009
Cowbird was widely disliked. Dishonest, lazy, egotistical, and an embarrassment; he refused societal rules, stole and schemed, drained society. He bullied neighbors, battered mates, and bruised offspring. Nevertheless, he thought himself genius, lived off weaker companions, deluded himself. He directed his eggs be deposited in other nests. After chicks hatched, were raised, and took wing, Cowbird trumpeted fatherhood despite having contributed nothing but seed. Once he spied a cozy nest and had an egg added. Weeks later he was astonished to discover the nest abandoned. Cowbird asked around, animals just sneered. A year or so later he heard mockingbirds gossiping. They sang about an unusual cowbird who was a delight, polite and helpful, an upstanding citizen. Cowbird was alarmed that any self-respecting cowbird would be described so, and determined to see for himself. He was dumbfounded when he discovered the story was true. The fledgling was his! He trumpeted his "rights" to have him returned. Surprisingly, though, a host rose up and blocked him. Cowbird protested loudly, but they refused to budge. Frustrated, he flew off, with laughter and derision following his retreat; still, he declared he would prevail. But his every scheme was rebuffed and the youngster grew up a responsible, contributing fowl. Cowbird obsessed about his failure. One day he noticed a blackbird smirking. Angrily, he insisted he speak his mind. Raven obliged: "Next time, don’t put your egg in Owl’s nest."