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A ruckus of wings


by Stacey Warde

I heard a ruckus outside my bedroom window in the last bit of twilight. It sounded like someone clumsily flapping the pages of an oversized newspaper. But who does that any more?

I went to the window and peered into the shadows of sycamore trees silhouetted against the final silver-green light above the cabin.

In the shadows below I saw little.

In the weighty limbs 30 feet up, the dark wide pages of a wild turkey’s wings spread themselves black against the sky as the big bird wobbled to its roosting place for the night.

The flapping pages of another wild turkey’s wings warned of its own arrival as it crash-landed through a thicket of leaves onto the same limb. Twigs and leaves fell.

Other turkeys arrived. Soon there were nearly 10 awkwardly flapping pairs of wings, batting like broadsides against the yellow-green twilight, giving clumsy applause to each new safe arrival, out of reach from those yapping coyotes, and settling in briefly for the short night that beckons another summer.

Man, what a ruckus! Wings flapping, and crushed twigs and leaves falling everywhere.

Finally, they settled in, and were quiet, and the frogs and crickets started their evening chorus, beeping and croaking under the same trees along the creek, bass and soprano voices lulling the birds to sleep.

In a short while, the dogs of the night will be hurling insults and cries of longing at the swelling moon…§

Stacey Warde is publisher of The Rogue Voice. This reflection originally appeared on his blog, Rogue’s View.