“View From the Back Porch” Episode Two
By Nita Wilson
Amy Birdheart was now known as the hero of the back yard, and was taken much more seriously than before. When she spoke, creatures listened. When she sang, people listened. When she flew in to the backyard from jaunts around other neighborhoods creatures applauded her home coming. Bomber positioned herself as Amy’s protector, friend and security patrol. When you saw Amy, you saw Bomber and nothing was so important as to tempt Bomber to leave her side. Now, for most birds this adulation would go to a feathered head, make them conceited or in some cases, unbearable to live around… but not Amy. She was as nice as ever and always available to give advice to her favorite ‘peeps’ or comfort them when they were down. Amy still had trouble landing on certain branches, but as a rule the trees helped her out as best they could, and Bomber had been seen positioning herself directly under Amy’s missing leg to support a safe landing. Bomber had given up her own life to tend to Amy. Amy bided her time, she would speak to Bomber soon about her obsession but hopefully time would play a part in dispelling the adulation. Most of the creatures noticed Bomber’s obsession with the Robin, but some were so grateful, they would have done the same for their hero if Bomber had not gotten to the job first. Amy was a real hero and deserved to be worshiped in their collective minds.
Bill The Great Chinquapin Oak
Bill has nothing to say about the goings on in the backyard. He watches and turns his leaves to the sun and rain in a gesture of peace and goodwill to all he shades. He’s been badgered by Hot Head, the red headed woodpecker of late and it’s given him a permanent bark ache, but in Bill’s soul that is just part of being a tree. Of course he’s no spring sapling and has weathered many storms including the horrible Camille of 1969 when he was only a small willowy baby of a tree. He bothers no one and pretends the ants who invade his bark are guest at his tall bed and breakfast. Bill is the master of the backyard and is respected by all who reside among his branches. Of course some complain when he undresses in the fall and his leaves fall like idol words in a bad paragraph; but most of his guests love the extra layer of warmth his soft brown leaves make for nests, or the tasty large acorns that fall among the leaves. The light that plays off his light green leaves in the spring is a joy to the backyard and heralds days of warmth and plenty for all. Creatures have been known to wait for years to get the best branches for their nests, but none would be so disrespectful as to fight or complain over who lives where.
He is most interested now days in the great yellow cat known as Big O, who sneaks around the yard with hideous self confidence day and night looking not so much for dinner as a living play toy for his giant ego. The furry feline doesn’t even wait for the young and helpless who may’ve strayed too far from a nest he is a democratic serial killer and will torture and play his deadly game with anything smaller than himself. The only warning a creature may have is the cat’s smelly dragon breath. Bill especially dislikes Big O as once when he was still a kitten, the poor creature climbed to Bill’s highest branch and was so terrified, Bill had to work all day moving his branches in order for the ungrateful cat to crawl down to safety. And once he was down he had the effrontery to sit casually under the big tree licking his paws with nary a thank you or by-your-leave. Big O has been circling the pond lately keeping a watch on Zelda and Scott and not to play with, oh no, this would be dinner.
Bill watches all and does what he can, but usually that means letting God’s creatures work out their lives the best they know how. He’s never liked to see empty nests in his branches especially the ones left tragically littered with the soft down of Hannibal’s menu, but he is now grateful to Amy and Bull and even Lil Bit for putting the big owl in his place. He would be dipping his branches down to the pond today to show Amy there was trouble brewing with Big O.
He’s stronger than most Oaks and has weathered many bad things, but he has the joy of being respected and nurtured by the human and all who live among his homey limbs and so he lives his days shading, waving and watching. Along with Big O, Bill has been watching Justin Bubbles the big turtle crawling slowly around the yard keeping one serious eye on Bomber. Bill has wondered when this would come to pass. Bomber should never ever have pooped on Justin Bubbles’ shell. It was a foolish thing for her to do and mighty disrespectful, yes sir, mighty disrespectful. Justin is one of the oldest creatures in the yard, second only to Bill himself and by George, age should command respect if nothing else. Everyone knows Justin can be a bit too much with his fake British accent and faux knowledge of everything in the Universe, but hasn’t he earned his own story to tell? When a turtle has lived as long as Justin, he may know a whale-of-a-lot more than people think, and if he doesn’t, he’s earned the right to say he has.
Between Big O and Justin, things were getting mighty interesting in the back yard, yes sir, mighty interesting.