It doesn’t add up!


“What are you after, Birdie?”

“I’m having an existential crisis, and it’s scaring me.”

“Existential crisis? You? You’re a bird. Birds don’t have the intellectual wherewithal to have  existential crises.”

“I know. That’s what’s scaring me.”

 “Okay, I’ll go with it for now. Do you want to talk about it?”

“I’d love to. Will you take the role of my counsellor?”

“If that’s what you want; why not?”

“Okay. Where shall I start?”

“I’ll tell you what. Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

“Can’t do that.”

“Why not?”

“Been done. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. That’d be plagiarism.”

“Fair enough. What’s the first thing you remember?”

“Okay, I can try that. Bear in mind, though, that early memories may not be mine.”

“What do you mean? Whose will they be?”

“Let’s turn that around. What’s your first memory?”

“That’s easy. I was dressed as a pageboy in a street party for the Queen’s coronation in 1953.”

“How old were you?”

“It was a few days before my fourth birthday.”

“And you have a clear memory of it?”

“Of course.”

“Are you sure? You haven’t remembered being told about it, or seen a photograph later?”

“I see what you mean… I have an old black and white photo… And, now I come to think of it, I couldn’t tell you what colour my robe was.”

“Now you’ve accepted that, I’ll give you my first memory; but bear in mind it may not be mine.”

“I’m all ears.”

“No you’re not!”

“I mean, I’m ready and eager to hear what you have to say.”

“Good. I remember a falling sensation; then I was inside the maw of a vicious creature. I must have passed out. When I came to, I was inside a box. It was dark and warm.”

“That’ll be when I rescued you from my dog.”

“I lived in that box for a while. I was fed often enough and quite happy with life. Then I was taken out and put in this enormous room—”

“So you could develop and fly.”

“That was you, too?”

“Surely was.”

“Well. Thanks, I suppose. But what am I supposed to do now? What’s the purpose of my existence? That’s what’s bugging me. That’s what I need to work out.”

“When you’ve grown bigger and stronger; when you can fly well, and when you can eat natural food instead of the prepared stuff I’m giving you, then you’ll be able to go out into the wild.”

“The wild? What the heck is that?”

“It’s open air; it’s nature; it’s where you belong.”

“But I don’t know anyone there.”

“You will. You’ll find within a couple of days that it will all seem perfectly normal and natural – which is what it is. You’ll make friends, you’ll even find a lady blackbird that you’ll want to spend your life with “

“I don’t need to find a bird to spend my life with. I want to spend my life with you.”

“No, you don’t. You can’t. We’re not the same. You need to pass on your genes. To do that, you need a female of your kind so you can mate and breed.”

“That sounds awful!”

“You’re young, Birdie. I thought the concept was pretty grim until I hit my mid-teens; then, suddenly, it seemed like a fine idea.”

“You’re just trying to get rid of me, aren’t you?”

“When the time comes; yes, I am. But it’s for your own good. I shall be sad to see you go, but happy that you’ll be where you are meant to be.”

“That makes no sense whatever. How can you be both happy and sad? It doesn’t add up!”

“If you are smart enough to have an existential crisis, my friend, you must be smart enough to work that out for yourself.”

“This calculator won’t help. Can I use your computer?”

This was written in response to Kreative Kue 315 published on this site.


11 thoughts on “It doesn’t add up!

    1. Thanks, John. Trevor picked her (we think) up from the side of the road. We couldn’t find a nearby nest so chose to take her home and attempt to hand-rear her (not expecting her to survive the night). That month was one of the most pleasant I can recall. She spent a lot of time on my shoulder, my knee, my keyboard and, yes, my calculator.

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  1. A fun story with a philosophical current. Here’s hoping Birdie will feel the urge to be a bird. Including the King’s remark from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” added to the fun — and that last line is a gem 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Dave. The good news is that the bird (which was rescued as described at only a few days old) was successfully released into the wild just a few days after that image was taken and observed exhibiting normal behaviour.

      Liked by 2 people

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