The Lonely Grackle

Location: Vaughan, Canada

The flock cawed in delight. They found the spot. French fries and half-eaten buns littered the ground. Neglected plates of scraps were left on the tables. It was perfect. Tonight they would have a feast.

They swooped down in unison, planting their feet on the hard stone tables. Beaks pecked at the food that would have otherwise gone to waste, tearing into chicken fingers and similar leavings.

I watched them with my single sad eye from my perch atop a gnarled old pine. I was famished. My empty stomach rumbled, my eye twitched, and my feathers shuddered. I could easily swoop down and take the food all for myself. It would take no effort on my part. But that was the problem. I didn’t want it all to myself. I wanted to share. I wanted to eat with my family. But I couldn’t. They hated me. They thought… they thought I was the ugly runt child, one who didn’t fit in with them.

I was so lonely. All I wanted was to be let back in, to live with my family. Maybe today they would accept.

I spread my tattered wings, closed my eye, and leapt from my branch. A sharp jolt sprung up my legs as I pushed off, and again as I landed.

I opened my eye, hoping to see that my family had stayed, but I already knew. I heard them take off as soon as I did. They were gone. Again. And the truth is, I didn’t really know why. I don’t look too bad, do I?

Common Grackle (a really ugly one)

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