After a good sleep in the old hollow tree Wizzy was awake in time to witness a flock of geese settle noisily on the pond. With great confusion and in a big flap the geese stirred up the water and mud in every direction before ducking their heads under the surface looking for bugs. Several waddled on the edge of the pond and some ventured into the harvested grain field nearby. Content with the amenities, they settled in for the evening.
Wizzy didn’t appreciate the noise and confusion but made no effort to involve herself in their business. Not that it was expected of her. Once the ruckus was over she resumed her waking routines. A few full head turns, a couple of poo- poo…,poo-poo…. voice scales and a good sharp peck under each wing and she almost felt ready to face another night. Stretching out her sleep stiff legs she felt a strange sensation on her right side and then completely freaked out by what she saw was firmly attached to it. There was a strange band of striped wire twisted tightly just above her grooming claw. No amount of desperate shaking or rubbing would release it from her chafing leg. Wondering frantically what she should do next she started to moult badly. As her feathers drifted onto the ground under her hollow tree one of the geese snuffed up a few and sneezed loudly and roused all the rest of the gaggle. No sooner had this uproar happened but she heard an aggressive knocking on her hollow tree .
Glaring indignantly out of the private entrance to her nest she was startled to see several unfamiliar looking scarlet cardinals and one sheepish looking local red-headed woodpecker. What next…. a visit from Old Snowy? Oddly, enough she was right.
Old Snowy looked unpleasantly preened to the point of looking like he’d spent all day at the taxidermist. There he was, in his stony faced glory peering into her private bare little home. Unable to avoid the confrontation she faced all of them and asked civilly what they were all doing there on her perch at this time of day when she had better things to do with her time. Staring her straight in the eye Old Snowy said he didn’t give a hoot what time of day it was and that he was here on very important business all the way from the Big Hill and that it was in her best interest to cooperate. Unwillingly she listened to what he expected her to do. While this was going on the cardinals and the woodpecker stood rigidly waiting outside the entrance.
Old Snowy outlined her duties in the matter, explaining that a little bird had told him about her wild adventure way down south and her time spent with the ancient eagle, Samuel. It was then that she realized she had been somehow banded with the twisted wire while she had been out cold after foolishly gorging on over ripe, toxic mulberries and inhaling that sweet smoke from the burn pile. This is what I get for living in a Territory so close to The Land of Right and Left thought Wizzy.
Realizing she was now too much involved to back out she had to agree to further missions that would involve Old Snowy and ultimately benefit Ancient Samuel. Apparently she was to use the leg band in attracting attention to herself, gather information from any strange bird approaching her because of it and pass on this information to a carrier pigeon known menacingly as Splat.
The next couple of days were spent sitting tensely on telephone poles at the edge of the forest in close proximity to a few unknown birds just sitting on the wire trying to look as if they belonged there. Wizzy had no choice in the matter and she almost despaired of ever-living a normal quiet existence again.
Fortunately for Wizzy her dark glass button, carefully hidden inside the hollow tree began to pick up on her distress. The button flashed on and sent out disturbing vibrations to the extent that Old Snowy, the cardinals and the woodpecker flew away outside of its range of disturbance. Suddenly, the dark glass button shut off. Wizzy turned the button over carefully but it didn’t respond. However, as Wizzy examined the button she discovered that the back of the button was very rough and diamond sharp . Rubbing the band repeatedly against the abrasive surface she was able to painfully break free of it. Kicking it into the muddy pond beside her hollow tree one of the geese swallowed it whole. Taking once more to flight with the rest of the flock he was soon out of sight but not out mind. Wizzy was free again to go about her business but now was sadly aware of being royally goosed.
It would never be the same in Pinecone Territory.