My Name is Birdie
My name is Birdie Wren and I live in Arizona. I share a nest with my parents and siblings on a nice quiet street in a community called Happy Hills. From my vantage point at the top of a 100 year old saguaro cactus I can see all the comings and goings of our mostly quiet neighborhood. I’m saying mostly quiet because sometimes a long lanky dog named Oscar and his friends make quite a ruckus. Sometimes I even get to help Oscar solve mysteries. I’m confusing you aren’t I? I guess I’d better start at the beginning.
I was born a cactus wren. I’m proud my species is the state bird of Arizona. Mom tells the story of me hatching a few days after the rest of my brothers and sisters. Everyone in the family jokes and calls me the runt of the litter. I am a little smaller than the rest of my siblings, but I’m not as tiny as a humming bird. Most of my life the other wrens made fun of me because my wing span is smaller and I have to stretch my neck to see over tree branches. I know I can’t carry as many insects in my beak, but I still help out feeding the family. When I fly with my brothers and sisters they have to wait up for me because I don’t fly as fast. I’m a little different and that used to bother me.
My grandmother Birdie, I’m named after her, says my sharp mind and keen instincts make up for my short comings. She tells me, “Birdie, you are one of a kind. Be proud of who you are. Use your quick mind and sharp wits to soar to new heights in life.” At first I didn’t understand what she meant.
Then one day last April my whole life changed. That’s the day I met a dog named Oscar. He looks different than the other dogs in the neighborhood. He’s small too. His body is long with short stubby legs. I smile when I see him because his short legs hug the ground and he always tries to walk around puddles on the sidewalk. His ears bounce when he walks looking like wings flapping in the air.
That particular April morning Oscar saw me sitting on the ground and stopped to get a closer look. I was so scared I couldn’t move. I let out a squawk that startled both of us. I’d never been face-to-face with a dog before. I guess Oscar had never been face-to-face with a cactus wren before either. I squawked, he barked and that was the beginning of our friendship.
It turned out that his house is one street over from our nest. We’re neighbors. When his humans stop to rest on the metal benches near my nest, I pop out to watch Oscar sniff and explore the ground around the cactus. One day I sat near him and chirped a hello. I was amazed that he understood me and barked a low throaty hello back. We could communicate with each other in our own way. He told me about his life as a dachshund with Sara and Sam Mitchell and I shared how I lived with my family in the hollow of the tall saguaro cactus next to the bench. I loved listening to stories about his friends in the Canine Detective Club. One day I got up the nerve to ask if I could join the club. He looked at me and said, “Birdie, you are now our honorary look out. It is your job to alert us to any danger heading our way.”
I had a job! I had a purpose! I was important! Oscar didn’t care if I was the runt of the litter or if my wings were too small to fly long distances. He knew I could play an important role in catching bad guys. I couldn’t wait to be of service.
Talk about coincidences, a few days after I met the members of the Canine Detective Club there was a murder next door to Oscar’s house. We were all shocked. This is a safe neighborhood – that’s why mom and dad built our nest here. I guess some crabby lady died in the middle of her prickly pear cactus. After her death strange things started to happen. People we’d never seen before started driving up and down the streets disturbing our eating and sleeping patterns. I wanted to help Oscar solve the case so everyone’s life could get back to normal.
I was small enough to sit on tree branches, or hide on the ground under bushes or stay in the middle of a cactus without being detected. I listened and observed. I used my keen instincts and sharp mind to begin putting clues to together. I contributed by observations to the group. During the Prickly Pear Murder case when Oscar asked me to drop a business card in the yard of one of the Detective Club members, I did. When the club asked if I knew where the bad guys were headed next, I flew to a roof top and reported back to them. When they captured one of the bad guys I sat on a tree branch and watched over him so he wouldn’t escape.
I was appreciated for my talents and abilities. When the case was solved and a local news crew came to cover the story, you could see me in the live shot. I’m sitting on a cactus just behind the other members of the Happy Hills Canine Detective Club.
I’ve taken what I learned from that experience to help my family look at things around us differently. I show them how to find different sources of water in the summer. I lead them to find insects in the evening. I use my newly found confidence to instruct the younger cactus wrens how to use their hunting skills to serve the community. I’m now looked at as a wise and experienced teacher and leader. I may be small, but I am smart. I may not be able to fly as fast as my siblings, but I can still get the job done. I know am valuable and talented. It took me awhile to find my own wings. I don’t compare myself to others anymore. As my grandmother tells me, “Birdie you are one of a kind. Use your uniqueness and inspire others to appreciate their one-of-a kind talents too.”
I guess the moral of the story is to appreciate yourself for the unique and special talent you are. Don’t compare yourself to others. Find your talent and give yourself permission to soar to new heights. Most of all, know you are amazing just the way you are.
This is a work of fiction.
None of it is real. All names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
You can read more about the Happy Hills Detective Club in an Oscar the Doxie Detective Mystery Series on Amazon.com – quick read fun paperback and Kindle cozy mysteries. An Oscar the Doxie Detective Mystery (3 Book Series)
Short fun light-hearted cozy mysteries you can probably read in an hour or so. Pour your favorite beverage, sit back and enjoy seeing the world through the eyes of Oscar the doxie detective. I’m guessing after reading this canine adventure, you’ll realize your own dog knows a lot more than you think.
Here is a link to all the Flash Fiction Friday stories. A new Flash Fiction story is published the third Friday of each month.