Note: Beverly (Bev) is preparing for the birth of a new brood and she wants to present the parents with a gift. She finds a bow that is later used for the nest and decoration for the one female baby once she is hatched.
"It takes a village to raise a child."—Old African Proverb
Chapter 1—Hustle and Bustle
All the creatures had come out of hibernation from a long, grueling winter and were elated to greet the coming season of spring. It had been a little warmer than a typical spring would be but no animals were complaining. They were simply singing, and helping one another with their daily chores. Beverly, one of the blackbirds of the neighborhood, was preparing for a new brood of baby birds. She was looking forward to becoming an aunt and wondered if there would be an equal representation of the sexes within the infants. Even if that wasn't the case, she didn't matter. She simply adored children and remembered having her own before sending them on their way. It was always exciting to welcome new life into the world and she was practically giddy about it.
The avian community was all a twitter about the coming presentation of the baby blackbirds. Many had already gotten their gifts from in and around the neighborhood, but Beverly didn't have anything yet. She wasn't worried, however, because she knew that whatever she found for her sister Bertha that she would adore it.
Chapter 2—Presentation, Hatching and Gifts
Before long, the blackbirds and other birds of the community were clamoring together to see Bertha delivering her brood. Beverly, who had been searching far outside of the neighborhood, had been scouring over vast miles of territory to get her sister a gift for the infants. It took hours until she found a simple lavender bow to use as a gift. It wasn't a large gift, but it was practical and it could have a number of uses. Beverly had a feeling that no matter what the present was, Bertha would love it, and so would the children once they came into the world.
Beverly watched everything as it happened. For a few precious hours, everything had gone by in suspended animation. Soon, the infants broke their shells and took their first glimpse upon the strange, alien world and were crying for food. All the guests that had been invited to the shower were celebrating, singing, dancing and eating. Bertha, as Beverly had predicted, adored the bow most of all and gave it to the only girl within the brood. She would wear it when she was old enough to know it was for ornamentation and not for eating. For now, the bow was used as decoration and a method of keeping the nest secure to the tree where it had been built.
Indeed, Beverly's gift had proven very useful. But it was not any more special or more useful than anyone else's gifts. All the birds in the neighborhood had been very thoughtful and helpful in the course of the beginnings of these young ones' first breaths of fresh air. They would continue to do all they could to make certain the infants would grow in a world where they could live without fear even though the world was a very uncertain place. Yet, they would do everything within their power to protect them from the dangers that would inevitably face them in the future. That was their duty as parents and guardians. They would learn and grow but for now, they would be pampered until they were old enough to fly and navigate the area on their own terms, without anyone else's help.
When the only female bird of the brood grew old enough to wear the lavender bow that Beverly had found, she decided to wear it. She would use it for future broods when she found a mate and decided to have a family of her own. Her name was Bella and her namesake was very apropos because she certainly was beautiful as her name implied. Bella and her siblings often did everything together, but it was coming to the time where they would be leaving the neighborhood and going out on their own. They loved to visit their aunt rather frequently and would miss her just as much as they would miss their beloved family. But, they would return when they had families of their own. Their youngsters would know of the neighborhood in which their parents grew and developed in. This area would always be a part of their existence wherever they traveled and the lavender bow would "tie" them all together forever.Epilogue
As the years passed by, Bella returned with her brood and had been wearing the bow that Beverly had presented her with so many years ago. She had grown even more beautiful. Beverly, although grayed in color, was still lovely and very wise. Bertha was the eldest of them all and taught all the birds (blackbirds and others alike) all the simple rules of survival in an uncertain world. Bella had become quite a stunning young lady and had raised a fine brood of her own. Beverly had no doubt her niece and nephews would turn out so splendidly. She was impressed to say the least and she knew that they would continue to do great things as they branched out into the world. Although the reunion was short-lived, the chatter, laughter and reminiscing would always be remembered. So long as the lavender bow remained, which it always did, all of these precious moments would be recollected.
By: Elizabeth Berndt
April 21, 2005