The Hawk That Didn’t Want To Fly
One cool day in
April, Nellie climbed out of her shell and watched everything around her. She
looked curiously at her nest and wondered of all the strange things about. She
didn’t wonder for too long because when you’re a baby hawk and you just climbed
out of your shell, you hardly have the mind to do much wondering.
another big white egg lying next to the remains of hers, but her baby brother
was not quite ready to come out and see the world. She gave the egg a soft peck,
but no one answered just then.
The very next
morning the second egg cracked open, and out came Joe. He took a look at his
mother, then he looked at Nellie, and then he fell on his face.
For the first
few days they walked wobbly and fell down a lot, but pretty soon they grew
strong and walked steadily from one end of their nest to the other, exploring
every twig and straw that made up their nest. Nellie and Joe began to learn
many things from their parents and some things they somehow knew without even
being told; one of the things they knew for themselves was, when you open your
mouth really wide and cry, delicious food somehow got stuffed inside it. One
other thing they knew from the first day of their life almost, was to never
soil the inside of the nest. So even before their legs could hold them up
steadily, when it became necessary, they climbed up to the edge of the nest,
poked their rear end over the twigs, and away it went--all the way down to the
street to make beautiful white polka dot patterns on the green awning way down
were very proud of them. Their father’s name was Pale Male, and everyone who
knew Him said He was the most handsome hawk they ever saw. Even people who
claimed they saw a great many hawks in their lives remarked how handsome He
There came a day
when Pale Male told Nellie and Joe that very soon they shall have to learn to
fly--enough to fly out of the nest. On hearing this, Nellie became very
excited, but Joe loved his nest and preferred to stay inside it and not fly out
for any reason.
“Papa, I’ll go
way up there in the sky there, and fly with you and Mama!” said Nellie and she
spread out her two stubby fuzz-covered wings. Then she stood at the very edge
of the nest and stared skyward.
Joe crouched deep
inside his nest and raised one eye toward the part of the sky that Nellie
watched. His eyelid twitched and fluttered and quickly closed, while his small
talons gripped onto a firmly weaved twig inside the nest.
Nellie she gets too far away on that nest there!” Joe cried.
As the days
passed their feathers changed from a downy white to a darkish brown, with a
beautiful sunny, yellow patch on their breasts. Nellie spent most of her days
running from one side of the nest to the other, flapping her developing wings
as she went. Joe tried it too, but soon he met a bumble bee who liked to visit
and chat with him. The bumble bee told Joe about the delicious, sweet nectar
that was to be found deep inside flowers that grew next to The Bethesda Fountain
near the west side of the Park. This nectar delighted Joe.
to the conversation and decided that she was not ever going to be interested in
nectar, regardless of how sweet the claim, from any flowers—west side or east.
perched on a narrow balcony just under the nest listening to the conversation
and shook His head. He directed his eyes over to His children’s mother who was
perched on a similar balcony one building over. He then flew over to her and
perched beside her. They both stared out at the vast Park that had begun to
sprout new green leaves after the terrible winter.
“You must have a
talk with your son dear!” said Pale Male in a voice that began somewhat stern,
but quickly tapered to almost a whimper. Lola turned to look at her handsome
mate directly in His eye. Pale Male dropped His head between His shoulders and
returned His gaze back to the Park. “Looks like it’s going to be a long hot
summer.” He continued, and then for a short rest, He clenched his right fist
and extended it in front His magnificent white torso.
After a minute
or so He shook out His body feathers and parachuted over Fifth Avenue. He
skimmed over the tops of splendid European Lindens that lined the west sidewalk
along the Avenue. Nellie and Joe admired their father as He caught the thermals
off the tall Fifth Avenue buildings. Pale Male soared, proudly showing off His
broad light colored wings with His fingers curled upward. When He flew, the sky
appeared to open up for miles around, and made it so there was nothing else to watch
but His majestic figure.
Not very long
after, He landed firmly on His nest. Nellie smiled and rushed up to Him. She
was always happy to have her father so close to her. Joe reluctantly spread his
tiny wings and gave a few listless flaps to gratify his father; he also swayed
his tail feathers from left to right.
“Look at me
Papa!” said Nellie as she dipped her head before her lean shoulders and flapped
and jumped to try to get aloft. Pale Male looked at her and smiled. He put one
of His wings around her, and then He looked over at Joe. On seeing his father’s
eyes upon him Joe kicked one leg up while the other remained planted firmly on
a strong twig. He flapped his wings as feverishly as he could and looked shyly
for any sign of approval from his stern father. He worried as he saw his
father’s smile wane.
“Hey Paps, you
t’ink you could bring me a flower so I could taste some nectar—I heard it’s
sweet and it gets your mouth all sticky!” he asked excitedly. Pale Male put an
open claw on His head and shook it in disbelief.
Being a hawk
requires a great deal of training. A baby hawk needs to know more than just how
to fly. Nellie stayed near to her parents every time they came to the nest and
asked a great many questions about the Park, and about the animals that lived
within it. Joe on the other hand only had questions about how to spell ‘Bumble
The babies grew
very fast and quite soon their feathers were dark brown and their wings were
big and covered with long feathers. Nellie was quite proud of her feathers, and
she loved to stand on the edge of the nest and feel the wind blow under them.
She flapped them with rapid, brisk bursts to try and get as high as she could.
Joe built up the
bravery one day to climb up to the top of the nest and peer over the edge. He
saw how far down the ground was and it made him dizzy. He slowly and carefully
climbed back down into the nest and rubbed his wings over its soft firm twigs.
He decided that staying on such a nice nest was much better than flying up so
high in the sky.
By the middle of
May the babies were very big and their wings quite wide. When they stood next
to their mother she no longer had to reach down to feed them.
For baby hawks
to grow so big in such a short time they must eat a large amount of food. It’s
not particularly cheerful to speak of what hawks eat. Birds of different types
eat different things. Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers eat a lot of sap, and Warblers
eat berries and some birds eat only seeds. Sparrows eat seeds and peanuts, if you
throw some their way, and they also eat tiny insects which are alive and can
fly and crawl. Some birds, like Robins eat worms and grasshoppers. There are
even birds like the Kingfisher which eat, well, fish. You can see them stand on
the edge of a lake and plunge their long beaks into the water and grab
themselves a fish. It’s not too much of a thrill for the fish being eaten, but
for millions of years they’ve learned to cope, and everyone seem to get along
This brings us
to hawks. Soon after hatching, Pale Male and Lola fed their babies, by all
appearances, delicious food that they brought to the nest clutched tight in
their talons. Nellie and Joe loved every bit of this food, which were usually
small animals that were unrecognizable by the time it was fed to them in
little, manageable chunks.
One clear day
toward the end of May, as the sun came up over Queens, it cast long golden
shadows through the tall buildings along Fifth Avenue, and sparkled off the
fresh droplets of cool dew that were formed on every leaf of the European
Lindens, and London Planes in the Park. The two young hawks stood side by side
on the nest and watched their father fly toward them. Their eyes were well
developed and their vision already sharp. They spotted Pale Male as He flew
over the Metropolitan Museum several blocks up the Avenue. Though they were
always anxious to see either of their parents fly, especially when coming into
the nest, this time they were more than ever captivated by Pale Male’s slow
approach as they both noticed something unusually large clutched in the talons
of their weary father.
visits to the nest when Pale Male brought things clutched in His talons, this
thing seemed to be moving.
perched on the crown of an old weathered water tower south of the nest building
and fixed her attention on her mate as He soared toward the nest. His flight
was not as graceful as was His custom. The struggling movement was more obvious
as He neared the nest. Nellie climbed as high on top of the nest as she could
to get a better look. She enjoyed the early morning breezes as it whipped and
twirled her long feathers. Her eyes glistened like the dew on the Linden leaves,
even if the sun was not up high enough to strike her face. A devilish grin soon
emerged on her round face. Joe was not certain of what struggled in his
father’s powerful talons, in fact he had no idea, but curious he remained.
As Pale Male
approached the nest, He gave two or three strong flaps of His powerful wings to
gain enough height for a smooth entry. The thing was clearly seen now and it
was struggling desperately. Nellie grew wild with excitement and she ran this
way and that, all the while keeping an uninterrupted view of her father, and
more so, the thing. Joe was quite excited too, but not in the same manner as
his day older sister.
Pale Male landed
with a thud into the large nest and immediately released the contents of His
talons. A frantic young squirrel shivering with freight ran to the nearest
corner of the nest, but found to his horror that there was no place to run lest
he fall over the edge and onto the hard sidewalk several tree heights down. The
two young hawks approached the frightened creature and stared at it in
delighted, and Joe also. Joe was the first to speak,
“Aye!” he cried.
“A Fren!” he declared, as he looked at his father with joy.
slapped himself on the head and uttered,
looked up at His mate on the water tower and met her gaze. Lola, with a sly motion,
steered her eyes away from her mate.
hearing her brother’s exclamation watched him in disbelief. She nudged him on
his small head with her blunt beak as if to awake him from his senselessness.
She then returned her attention to the excitement of seeing the nest’s new
occupant. Wondering how best to approach the situation, she leaned her head
from side to side as she examined the furry creature. Then she flexed her large
sharp talons and wielded them toward the cowering animal. Joe looked at her
confused but quickly realized her disagreeable intention.
pressed himself against the cold, hard concrete dental work and stared
helplessly at the two juvenile hawks. Nellie lunged toward the shivering
creature who immediately shut his eyes and bowed into the mass of twigs.
In what must
have been Joe’s swiftest movement since breaking himself free from his shell
six weeks before, he hurled himself over the squirrel and swung his head around
to face his sister.
“You leave my
fren alone!” He shouted and directed a stern, awkward stare right at her.
Nellie was caught by surprise and was amazed by her usually timid brother’s
cried as she looked at her father for an explanation. Pale Male gave His
daughter a reassuring look then turned to His incorrigible son.
little hawk bowed his head shamefully, trying his best to avoid a direct stare
from his father. However he held his stance and never broke his shield over his
The sun traveled
far enough to come up from behind the tall buildings and strike the nest,
making it very warm. Nellie was venturing all the way over to the end of the
nest where it curved downward. There she grasped tight with one foot on a thick
twig and the other on a firm, old pigeon spike fastened to the stonework. She
then watched the curious movement of people below and listened to the noisy
cars and busses.
lifted his wing and peered under his feathers to look at his friend who was
still extremely frightened.
“Don’t be scared
little guy! You’re my fren!” he whispered. The squirrel hardly moved, except
for a quick glance up to see the hawk that was trying so desperately to be
protective of him. To the squirrel, however, Joe’s face, regardless of his
intentions, still looked very frightful. There was something though, about the
warmth that he received from under the hawk’s wings. And there was something
else about Joe’s eyes that he caught from his genial smile. Though he had not
any choice, he felt some comfort with the closeness of his strange new friend.
On the first day
of June the two baby hawks stood on top of their nest and gazed toward the
Park. The sky had not begun to brighten just yet.
“I’m going to
fly today!” said Nellie to Joe, as she continued to stare toward the Park. This
declaration made Joe quite nervous since he had no plans to make that terrible
jump that day. As he thought about it further, he realized he had no certain
plans of ever flying off that nest.
Nellie began to
flap with all her might but could not gain enough lift to fly off. By the
afternoon she decided that it was too late and would try again the next day.
told Joe that he was hungry, so Joe looked around the nest for something for
him to eat. Joe offered a small twig that was not too dried up, but the
squirrel didn’t know how to eat a twig. Next Joe offered him a piece of
evergreen but the squirrel just bowed his head and started across at the Park.
“What are you
looking at?” asked Joe.
“My Mama is over
there!” he pointed toward a tall elm tree at one side of the big pond. Joe
noticed how sad the Squirrel got when he spoke of his mother.
Pale Male flew
close to the nest with food clutched in his talons. He did not stop off at the
nest as he usually did, but rather he flew back and forth in a sort of tease,
making sure the food was visible to both hungry chicks. Nellie’s eyes were
fixed on the food, for after exerting so much energy all day trying to fly, she
was famished. Joe was also hungry but he was more concerned about his little
Male landed and dropped off his children’s dinner. Lola flew into the nest
moments later and began to prepare the food for their feeding. Pale Male stood
at one side of the nest still clutching something in one of his talons.
Lola placed a
piece of food into Joe’s mouth but he did not swallow the whole thing. He
offered a small piece of it to the little squirrel. Though weak and very hungry
the squirrel could not eat it. Joe looked at his father desperately. Pale Male
walked over to his son and deposited the contents of his talons in front of
him. Joe watched the strange object. He had never seen anything like it before.
He pecked at it, but it was too hard to be eaten. He prodded it with his talons
and found that it rolled easily. Joe was delighted to see that the squirrel’s
eyes lit up at the sight of the thing. The little brown creature immediately
took a hold of it and rotated it a few times in his nimble fingers before
cracking it open with his sharp teeth.
Joe looked for
his father but was only able to catch a brief glimpse of him as he flew off the
nest. He then watched the squirrel closely as he ate the crunchy walnut that
lay inside the hard shell. He offered a small piece to Joe. The willing hawk
had difficulty picking out the morsel of nut from the shell. When finally he
got it out he made several attempts to bite at it by turning his head this way
and then that way.
Lola and Nellie
observed the hawk’s strange actions and could not believe what they were
At five o’clock
the next morning Nellie awoke and minutes later she shook her brother who slept
with one of his wings covering his squirrel friend.
“Why ya wakin me
up Nellie?” uttered Joe who was very comfortable and didn’t want to get up so
“I’m going to
fly today!” replied Nellie.
“You said so
yesterday!” reminded Joe, not taking his sister’s words seriously.
“But today I’ve
made up my mind, and I’m going!” insisted Nellie, “are you going to fly today
too?” she asked.
Joe opened his
eyes and looked at his sister in the dim reflected streetlight that came up
through the branches of the tall Lindens across the street.
“No!” said Joe.
“Then when are
you going to fly?” asked Nellie, as she watched the fuzzy head of the squirrel
stir beneath Joe’s wing before it peered through his feathers.
“I ain’t never
gonna fly!” said Joe.
“Well you can’t
stay here forever!” said Nellie.
“Well I ain’t
like those trees over there!” replied Joe as he shut his eyes half way and
tried to settle back into his warm spot in the nest to get some more sleep.
Nellie saw the
first sign of the brightening sky and ran on top of the nest. She flapped her
wings and her feet slowly lifted off the nest. She continued to flap very hard
and fast and her feet went higher and higher. Joe got up and so did the
squirrel. Lola was watching from the rail of a high terrace close by, and Pale
Male watched from a tree in Central Park. Nellie leaned this way, and then that
way, and then a south-west breeze helped to lift her even more. She pulled back
her wings and cleared the entire overhang of the nest. Joe’s heart was beating
Nellie!” he cried. Nellie barely heard him. Her own heart was beating very fast
as she was plenty frightened. Her determination outweighed her fear however,
and soon she was over Fifth Avenue— dipping and rising until she was well
across the sidewalk and over the trees in the Park. It was here she came to a
safe although ungraceful landing in a London Plane.
“I want to see
my Mama!” said the squirrel very softly to Joe later in the day as they both
watched Nellie explore the tree that she landed in hours before. The squirrel
stood before Joe and stared across the Pond all the way up to The Metropolitan
Museum. Joe thought for a while as he watched the back of his friend’s furry
head with its tiny ears sticking straight up.
“I’ll take you
back to your home!” said Joe, hardly realizing what he had just promised his
friend. The squirrel looked back at Joe but was not able to rejoice over the
delightful words that he spoke. Joe saw that his friend was not convinced that
his promise was sincere. “I’ll learn to fly, you’ll see, and you can climb on
my back, and then I’ll fly you all the way over to your Mama!” continued Joe.
The squirrel looked at Joe and offered a little smile.
“Ok Joe.” He
“I got a name
that I want to call you,” said Joe, trying to keep the squirrel engaged. The
squirrel looked at him with his big bright eyes. “I was thinking of calling you
‘Nectar’, said Joe, “because my friend The Bumble Bee told me all about nectar.
The squirrel smiled a little and then he looked over to the museum again. Joe
put his face up to Nectar’s and they both looked toward the museum.
Joe stood on top
of the nest and began to flap his wings. At first he was afraid to let go of
the twig of which he held firm, but he took one look at Nectar’s big bright
eyes shining in the warm reflected sunlight, and found the courage to release
both feet. He began to flap hard and fast and soon developed great confidence. Before
long he began to enjoy his ability to fly, and after only a few days he had
very little fear left.
“Nectar, maybe I
can fly to a tree over there first and then I can come back for you...” Joe
began, but before he could finish his sentence Nectar rushed up to him and
grasped onto his neck.
“No, no, no!
Don’t leave me here Joe!” cried Nectar.
“Ok, ok, Nectar
you’ll go with me!” Joe did his best to calm Nectar down, especially because
Nectar’s nails were hurting him around his neck.
When the little
squirrel was sufficiently relaxed Joe took the time to explain to him that it
will not be easy for him to fly with the extra weight on his back.
“So I have to
practice very hard, is all.” Said Joe.
“Maybe if I had
some wings I could help you flap!” offered Nectar.
“That’s a good
idea!” said Joe, so they picked up some loose feathers from the nest and tried
to fasten them between Nectar’s fur. The feathers just would not stay in place
so Bumble Bee had an idea.
“Maybe if I got
some nectar from a flower down by the lake, then we can stick ‘dem feathers on
you!” he buzzed.
Nectar looked at
Joe and both agreed that it was a good idea. Bumble Bee returned soon after
with a walnut shell filled with nectar. The gooey stuff held the feathers in
place quite well, and soon Nectar had his wings.
Nectar laid on
Joes back and they practiced for their great flight by running and flapping
from one side of the nest to the other. It was not easy for Nectar to hold on
to Joe’s back with his hind legs and flap his makeshift wings. Likewise, it was
not easy for Joe to bear the weight of his furry friend while trying to get
aloft. Added to this Joe told Nectar that his toe nails were hurting his back.
For this problem Bumble Bee again offered a solution.
“I can make some
wax and put it over Nectar’s toenails,” said Bumble Bee as he buzzed around the
two, feeling quite proud of himself.
problem was taken care of, the practicing continued. From left to right they
ran and flapped, and flapped and jumped. Nectar stayed low on Joe’s back and
flapped his makeshift wings.
watched the two with His mouth agape. His only wish was that no one else
witnessed what was going on in his nest. His wish did not come true, for when He
looked up at the Lion Heads Building He saw more than a dozen, but less that
twenty black crows staring at the two aviators in the nest. He then looked over
at The Woody Building and saw his adversaries, the two South Side Peregrine
Falcons, staring in bewilderment at his son and his strange friend. Lola and
Nellie also watched the two from a high branch in a Linden tree. Pale Male
stood on his perch and hung his head in shame.
“Joe, you have
to stop for a minute,” whispered Nectar into Joe’s ear.
matter?” asked Joe. Bumble Bee listened in and readied himself to solve another
“My face feels
sticky!” replied Nectar. The young squirrel’s face was examined carefully.
“You’ve got a
lot of nectar on your face Nectar!” said Bumble Bee as he buzzed on both sides
of the furry face in front of him. Joe looked at the sticky face and leaned his
head first this way, and then that way.
“I know how to
fix that!” said Joe, and he at once began to lick the sticky fur on his
Nectar began to
giggle as the licking on his face was awfully ticklish. Bumble Bee buzzed here
and there, indicating to Joe where next to lick.
When all the
nectar was licked off the squirrel’s face he told them his face no longer felt sticky.
Regardless, Joe gave one more lick to Nectar’s face.
“How come you
still lick my face Joe...it’s not sticky anymore.” Said Nectar softly as he
looked into Joe’s eyes.
“That wasn’t a
lick.” Replied Joe.
The sun took on
a deep orange glow as it lowered behind the tall Westside buildings. A flock of
geese flew across the San Remo and disappeared in a thick clump of reddish
Out of the
silence from the Lion Heads Building came a quiet chuckle from one of the
crows. Then there was another chuckle, and another, and before long there were
more, even from The Woody Building, the falcons were sniggering. Soon the whole
of Fifth Avenue near 74th Street was ablaze in laughter.
surveyed the crows, and He scrutinized the Falcons, then He looked at His mate
and His new daughter. He leaped from His perch and climbed up high over His
nest, then He swooped over the busy Fifth Avenue traffic. The crows and Falcons
pointed at Him and laughed hysterically. Pale Male let out a series of shrill
cries. The crows cowered at the sound of the hawk’s cries, but soon continued
to laugh and point.
Joe and Nectar
stopped their practicing and watched as Pale Male flew back and forth getting
teased by the crowds of other birds. Joe felt like he had failed his father so
he remained motionless on the nest. Nectar put his face next to Joe, Bumble Bee
landed on his head and wondered what was going to happen next.
gonna be mad Joe!” whispered Nectar. Joe looked sad, but he gave Nectar’s face
Pale Male flew
onto His nest and addressed his son. Bumble Bee kept himself at a safe distance
from the fearsome looking hawk. Pale Male looked at His son sternly, then he
steered His eyes over to the squirrel. Nectar began trembling once again just
like the first day he was brought to the nest. Pale Male approached the two
even closer. Joe bowed his head toward his father, but kept a firm shield on
his friend. The large Red Tail Hawk pulled something from within the bed of the
nest and approached the squirrel.
The crows flew
in every direction in front of the nest and laughed and teased. The falcons
darted back and forth and did much the same. Pale Male continued to pull at the
object from the bed of the nest, it was a long feather. He held it in His beak
for a moment as He examined the squirrel carefully. He then dipped the quill
end of the feather into the walnut of nectar and right away proceeded to fasten
it to the trembling animal. After that was fixed in place He searched for
another feather to compliment the other side. Since another feather of that
length was not available in the nest He, without hesitation, plucked one of His
own and fixed it in like manner to the squirrel’s other arm.
Joe watched his
father and was unable to react. Pale Male brought His head close to His son’s
face and licked it several times.
“There were bits
of nectar on your face son.” Whispered Pale Male. He then climbed to the top of
the nest and spread his wings wide, casting a shadow over all the occupants of
the nest. The Bumble Bee flew up and sat himself on the large powerful right wing
of the mighty hawk—just to see what it felt like. He looked down the enormous
limb and thought he could feel the power of the magnificent creature surging
through him. He pushed out his chest and then spread his own tiny wings for all
the Park to see.
The crows and
falcons ceased their ruckus and were totally at a lost to the hawk’s unexpected
It is widely
known that no animal other than man is able to tear their eyes to express
emotions. So it must have been a raindrop or two that fell onto Joe’s eye and
ran down his cheek. And there must have been more raindrops in the air, because
something like it was seen running off Pale Male’s eyes also.
uttered one solitary cry that pierced through the Fifth Avenue traffic noises,
and silenced every living creature for blocks around.
Joe stood on the
nest with his friend fixed to his back and two pairs of wings began to flap
with a tremendous might. At the last moment Bumble Bee decided that he’ll try
to help out also, so he held onto Nectar’s shoulders and buzzed his wings as
hard as he could.
The crows and
the falcons perched themselves on top of the London Plane and gazed at the
three animals on the nest—their silence spoke of their awe as the threesome
raised from the nest and sailed clumsily over Fifth Avenue.
As they hovered
over Fifth Avenue the group began to fall. The weight was just too much for
Joe. As much as he tried he could not maintain sufficient altitude to sail over
to the nearest tree on the west side of the Avenue.
Harder!” shouted Bumble Bee. Joe never faltered in his quest. Nectar looked up
Fifth Avenue and saw a big blue bus speeding toward them. He held on tighter to
“I love you
Joe!” he cried into Joe’s ear.
Just at that
moment the tops of every tree top began roaring.
“Go Joe! Go!”
The shouting came from the crows and the Falcons and even a few dozens Blue
Jays. They were joined by hundreds of squirrels, who stood inches away from the
falcons. Their voices merged into one steady roar. “Go Joe! Go!” they chanted.
Two crows separated to make a space for a pigeon to land between them, so he
could cheer on the determined Red Tail Hawk and his two friends.
The big blue bus
was almost upon them but Joe paid no attention to it. Nectar closed his eyes
and flapped until all his feathers began to come loose. Bumble Bee let go of
Nectar’s shoulders and flew to the back of Joe.
“I hate to do
this to you Joe, but I must!” cried Bumble Bee as he angled himself directly
behind Joe’s rear end. “Hold on tight Nectar!” he yelled as he levied his
stinger into Joe’s backside.
Joe flying inches into the air.
The bus passed
under them dreadfully close causing a powerful updraft sending Joe, Nectar and
Bumble Bee further into the air. Joe pulled back his wings and dove head first
into a tall London Plane.
All the animals
cheered aloud in a sudden roar. Nellie jumped for joy. Lola began to breathe
once again, but no one saw Pale Male. He was too high up in the sky. He was so
high up that if you were up there with Him you’d see Central Park as a small
green patch amongst the brown and gray of the city. But He saw every detail of
what was happening below. He even saw the apparent rain drops that fell into
Joe grasped onto
a sturdy branch and immediately checked for his friend. Nectar had fallen off
his back. Before Joe could begin to worry he saw a squished up feather floating
down in front of him. He looked up to find Nectar upside down on a branch
looking straight into his eyes.
“You Ok Joe?”
asked the little squirrel.
“Sure I’m Ok,
what about you? Replied Joe.
doesn’t look OK Joe—something looks wrong!” remarked Nectar. Just then Bumble
Bee came buzzing over.
“Joe! Your beak!
Cried Bumble Bee. Joe crossed his eyes to peer down at his beak. He noticed
that as his beak left his mouth it went this way, and as it thinned out to a
point, it went that way.
“Your beak is
broken Joe!” cried Nectar.
said Joe, “my beak is broken all the way in front there, but it hurts all the
way in the back there!” he continued and pointed to his rear end.
Bumble Bee, “I can explain that.”
Nectar was very
young and could not understand squirrel-talk as well as the older squirrels.
But before the threesome had landed in the tree, the squirrels in the Park were
relaying messages of what was happening, through the trees all the way over to
mother arrived she stayed far away from Joe and cried out frantically to her
Nectar. Nectar’s mother trembled to see her son so close to a hawk like that,
so she panicked and became hysterical. “It’s OK Mama, he’s my friend!”
reassured Nectar. But the older, wiser, squirrel did not stop in her mad fit.
whispered something into Joe’s ear and then they both left Nectar alone on the
branch. Nectar’s mother immediately scurried over to her son and embraced him
so hard that the little boy could barely speak. She was confused about seeing
so many feathers stuck to his fur and quickly began plucking them off.
Joe watched his
friend from a nearby tree. All the crows had left and the two falcons were gone
also. In fact Joe never noticed that all the roaring and cheering had ceased
and there were no birds in the tree where he perched. From somewhere above a
noisy cry broke the silence and a Blue Jay screamed as he began to dive bomb him.
The innocent little Red Tail did not understand what was happening.
friend!” cried Nectar as his mother pulled him away to take him home.
Joe, “don’t go!” he continued and got ready to fly over to his friend. But
Bumble stopped him before he could leave his perch.
“Let him be,
Joe!” whispered Bumble. Joe looked at Bumble Bee confused, but did what he
asked. He watched as his dear friend was being carried off by his mother.
“I love you
Joe!” returned the squirrel.
For this being a
warm sunny day in June there sure were a lot of hidden raindrops in those
trees. And both Joe and Nectar’s eyes somehow managed to catch a lot of them.
“I love you too
little fren!” uttered Joe in a broken voice too soft for Nectar to hear by
moments never seem to last for very long. But even so, what’s nice about them
is that they can live forever, if you never allow yourself to forget them.