Written for the Blog Prompt for the 30.Day Challenge
|Pick one of the following scenarios and expand on it: 1) An animal you can humanely wear while it's still alive; or 2) A house you can live comfortably in that is made entirely of edible materials.
Warbling Along In The World by Apondia
Tim was in the attic of his house. He was climbing around in the upper rafters looking at small holes that had what appeared to be sawdust caps on them. The house was built of untreated hardwood from the deciduous forests near his home. He had purchased two by four wood from a nearby Amish Sawmill.
"I should have taken their advice and had the wood treated before I built the house. "
Tim retreated to the main living floor where he brewed a cup of Gunpowder Green Tea from the singing kettle boiling on the induction cook-top. Tim had worked hard over the last few years to purchase a 15 acre lot in the country. He purchased the acreage and paid it off before he started his home. All his permits were in proper order when he started building so he was thrilled how the work developed. It was a small home. He built it with his own hands. Everything was just the way he wanted it. He filled it with the most modern types of appliances. The roof was covered with solar panels. His kitchen was filled with induction cooking devices. He had WiFi and a large screen TV. The back porch ran the entire length of the house and was screened with weather screening that would not allow the snow in winter or rain in summer to blast through. Now he had found little beetles chewing perfectly round holes in the upper rafters. They were eating his special home. Laying larvae in the holes so the larvae would eat it.
Rocking in a wooden rocking chair on the porch drinking his tea Tim figured he should stop by a local exterminators shop in the morning. There must be some way to stop the beetles before they ruined his beautiful new living space, mused Tim.
The next morning bright and early when stores were just opening their doors in the small town of Wishesville, Tim pushed hesitantly through the screen door of Herm's Extermination. An old man behind the counter looked up. "Well Hi there young fella what can I do for you today?" Beside the man sitting in a cage on the counter a small bird with sky blue and white markings began to screech in a most excitable manner. Its feathers had black markings like he was wearing a necklace. It's wings had bars. "shush up." The old man shook the cage a little. The bird shushed.
Tim was a little startled by the commotion the bird made. He was even more startled by the sudden cage shaking the old man had done. " Are you Herm?"
"Yes. I am! Do you need something exterminated." The bird shrieked, Herm shook the cage again.
"Well yes. At least I need some advice about how to exterminate wood boring beetles." Tim went into detail and told the old man about his new homestead and the problems he was experiencing in the attic of his home.
"Oh. Sure we can fix that. I can bring out the truck. You can move out of the house for a couple weeks. I'll encase your house in a tent and blast the critters with some gas that will kill every living thing inside that tent. Nothing will dare live in your wood ever again."
"A couple weeks? That seems kind of drastic and maybe expensive. How much would it cost anyway?
Herm rubbed his chin. The wrinkles on his chin seemed to slide back and forth as he rubbed. "It wouldn't be much. I could probably give you a discount of about fifteen hundred dollars since you just finished building you probably don't have a lot of cash laying around. How about I do it for about ten thousand."
"Ten Thousand Dollars? How about advice instead of going to all that expense? Isn't there any other way?"
"Well? How much was you hope'n to spend?"
"I don't know but not that much. Besides I don't have anyplace else to live for two weeks. I have to be back to work on Monday."
The bird shrieked. Herm shook the cage.
"Tell you what young fella, this here bird in this cage is an insect eater. I can let you have his cage n all fer about fifty dollars. You just take him home turn him loose in those rafters and I bet he'll clear out your problem in no time at all." The bird started jumping up and down on its perch screeching and howling in a shrill birdy voice." Herm shook the cage. "You shush."
Tim was kind of suspicious of this deal but fifty dollars sounded a lot better than ten thousand so he decided to try it out. "Your sure he will eat the beetles?"
"Yes sir its his favorite food." Herm then added, "I think."
"You don't know for sure?"
"Well I know it eats wood boring beetles but I never asked it if it's his favorite meal?" Herm reached out and touched the cage before the bird could shriek. The bird turned his back to Herm and let loose a spatter of white birdy poo in Herm's direction.
"OK, It's the cheaper way to go, I'll try it." Tim pulled out his wallet and thumbed out five ten dollar bills.
Herm wrote him out a receipt and shoved the cage toward Tim. "What should I feed him now?"
"You just take him home and turn him loose he'll find dinner."
Tim left the store. He loaded the cage into the passenger seat in the front of his new Renegade Jeep. He fastened the seat belt so the cage couldn't move. From the time Tim handed over the money to Herm, to the time the cage was fastened into the seat of the jeep the bird never made a sound or moved, from the center of the perch, in the center of the cage.
Tim started the jeep. He drove down the street out of town and turned down the lane that led to his house. It was a quiet drive with little traffic moving because it was very early in the day. It was a good thing too, because of what happened next.
A small screechy voice spoke up. "You know what you are doing in illegal don't you."
Tim was startled. He reached down to turn the radio dial off. but it wasn't on. There were no other automobiles on the lane and the windows were up.
"Me, Me, talk to me."
Tim looked at the cage and slammed on the brakes. The bird was hanging on the bars of the cage with his beak sticking through. It started to sing in an almost hypnotic warbling voice. "Blue bird,,Blue bird sitting in a cage,.set me free set me free. Blue bird blue,bird sitting in a cage, call the police,,call the police. Help, Help I'm being hijacked!!"
Fortunately Tim wasn't usually surprised by unusual events because he was an investigative journalist and he was used to reporting about odd occurrences around the area. "How come you can talk?"
"How come you bought an illegal bird to do your dirty work?"
"What kind of bird are you? Birds don't talk I must be losing my mind. I knew that last job was too much stress. Too many crime waves can stress out any reporter. What do you mean illegal?"
"Ha. You think you have stress. How about me. I've been captured, thrown in a cage and sold as a slave labor to eat bugs."
"What kind of bird are you? I thought only parrots talk."
"I'm Setophaga cerulea you can call me Cerulean for short. I don't talk I warble. Do you know what they do to people who use birds vulnerable to extinction for slave labor?"
"Sorry I never talked to a warbling bird before. I never even heard a warbling bird before at least, not one I remember hearing."
"Well, for your information there are people who listen when they are outside. Don't you ever listen to the sounds of Beethoven or some of the other music masters that wrote down the sounds they heard like bird calls and wind sighs?"
Tim tried to turn the conversation his own way. "I guess the question is do you relish a meal of wood eating bugs?"
"What's in it for me?" warbled Cerulean.
"I guess I can't really force you to munch all the bugs in my rafters away. What do you want to do the job?"
"How about my freedom? You can start by opening this cage. I promise I won't fly away. By the way, cool car. Herm didn't feed me to well so I'm low on energy. A few bugs would solve that problem."
Tim had been driving down the road all this time and now he turned into the long drive leading to his house. He stopped the car and opened the cage practically all in one motion.
Cerulean jumped out with a flash of his blue and white feathers landing squarely on Tim's shoulder. "Just don't leave any of that white stuff on my jacket, O.K.?
Cerulean spent a lot of time riding around on Tim's shoulder. He kept the rafters free of wood eating beetles. Actually, the rafters were up high enough so he felt like he was in the natural canopy of the forest. He flew in and out of the windows as much as he pleased.
Tim and Cerulean had lots of conversations over the years about music, philosophy, journalism and other important subjects.