Tag Archives: bird

Fiction: The Bird Feeder

Ewen Macklin made a hole in the side of the bag of wild bird seed and put a plastic cup to it to catch what spilled. He filled six such cups and tipped the bag back so no more of the seed would flow. He put the cups into a little basket and headed toward the back door of his home.

Only a couple of years earlier he would have taken the new bag of bird seed outdoors and held it aloft as necessary to fill the feeders. But that time had passed and the cups and basket were a necessary compromise.

“Joy, joy, joy,” he told himself. Macklin was certain this was the last real joy in his life now that age and death had taken the others from him. Feeding the birds — and, by extension, the squirrels — that came to his yard was an unalloyed, unadulterated delight.

It wasn’t until he started back inside after his happy errand that he saw his neighbor, Jon Burtle, staring at him hatefully. His young son, Jon Jr., who was about nine years old, had an identical expression on his face. Macklin ignored them and went in. He had never engaged the family next door in conversation and they had returned the silence. The Burtles’ vile bumper stickers and the political campaign signs they permitted in their yard indicated there would be no meeting of the minds among neighbors, and that was the end of it.

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