The Stories I Tell ~ from The Word Cellar

Stories. Anecdotes. A free round of words for everyone!

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I love stories. I'm the one at social functions with a dozen new anecdotes. But I worry about hogging the conversation. Sometimes I tell myself that I'll be quiet and let others do the talking. But no matter how hard I try, my stories insist on bursting out! Here I can let my stories (the classics that I tell again and again, as well as new ones that unfold along the way) run free. I'm a professional writer and editor, and sole proprietor of The Word Cellar. I write for a variety of publications and clients on everything from green buildings and nuclear reactors to entrepreneurship and the arts. If you need words written, edited, or enlivened, I can help. Contact me.


The Littlest Birds Sing the Prettiest Songs

I saw a flock of little brown birds today. There were hundreds them: flying, gliding, flapping, swirling, chirping, landing. The rose up in a choreographed flight from the bank in front of me, and then landed in two small fields separated by a road. I heard hundreds of birds peeping at once; hundreds and hundreds of wings beating the air as I walked a little closer and they took off, again in unison, swooping through an intricate pattern. When they flew, it was a graceful dance, each bird flapping in rhythm and then all at once skimming on unseen air currents, all at the same time. Flap-flap-flap-flap-gliiiiiiiiiiiiiide.

The group of birds in the field nearest me joined the group across the road, and then little batches of birds came flying in, trailing the larger mass that had arrived a minute or two earlier. Here were another ten; a dozen; three; solo birds in between these little groupings. All flying to catch up with the others.

And then from behind them all, a lone, larger bird, probably a hawk. I wondered if it was preying on the smaller birds (do hawks eat birds?); if this was the reason they seemed so unified and slightly agitated. (Or is that just the way of birds?) I heard the hawk let out a solitary squawk (although I think I imagined it), and then it banked right, flying high above and away from me and the birds.

I watched the hawk sail into the distance, strong, confident, fearless. The flock of small birds on the ground flapped and hopped, talking to each other, crowded close together.

And I could not decide which I'd rather be.

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add to kirtsy | 7:49 PM


Blogger Lex said...

Hello Jennifer,
I just re-read the postcard you send for Chookooloonks' postcard swap. I'm glad you sent the postcard and if you do end up in London, would love to meet up for some tea!
Take care,

11/18/2007 6:18 AM  
Blogger Jamye & Peter said...

This is the season for murmurations. That's what they're called--and a worthy name for such an amazing sight, eh? November is the season to see these dances; it's one of my favorite things about fall. For some reason, I'd never seen then before we moved to Massachusetts, but now, here in eastern PA, I see more than ever, and clouds of birds that go on and on and on and wow me. Jamye

11/21/2007 4:53 AM  

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