Saturday, December 18, 2010
A Small Christmas "Tail"-3
Thanks for all the kind comments. On to Part 3!
A Small Christmas "Tail"
The next afternoon, Casey jumped on the chair that his people kept by the window. He saw dozens of birds in the backyard. They hopped and scrabbled in the dirt, chattering merrily at each other. Soon a large Cardinal glided toward the window and perched on a feeder that sat nearby. He looked like a wise old bird, so Casey tapped the window politely with his paw.
"Excuse me, sir. I don't know anything about Christmas. Can you tell me what it means?"
The bird preened his brilliant red feathers and cocked his head to the side.
"Why certainly I can. The first thing to know about Christmas, is that when it arrives, so does cold weather. And for birds, cold weather means hunger. It's very hard to get food when the temperature drops."
The thought was alarming. Casey always looked forward to mealtimes, and certainly didn't like the idea of an empty bowl.
"So Christmas means going hungry?"
"Oh, no. Actually, quite the opposite."
The bird fixed his dark little eyes on Casey as he continued.
"At Christmas kind people remember us and put good things outside. Seeds, bread crumbs, corn...all sorts of delicious treats. And even after Christmas, most of them don't forget us, especially during the coldest times. Why, I don't know what we'd do without Christmas and the food people share with us."
The Cardinal fluffed himself up into a feathery ball and then flew away to join the other birds. Casey sat back on his haunches. Perhaps the Cardinal was right. Christmas must be about sharing. He jumped from the chair down to the floor and trotted toward the door. Though he wasn't looking forward to braving the cold, he barked obediently and waited. Nothing made a trip outside more urgent than lapping up a bowl full of water. And the Lady had no sense of humor about accidents.