There is a house on the Waverley road with trees at the front and back, and also on either side. At the front of the house, just inside the trees, there is a kind of tree house. It's not in a tree, but rather kind of a house in the trees. Half has a blue tarp roof, and the other half has kind of a woven roof from the branches and leaves of the trees. Go through the trap door and down the ladder, and you would be at forest floor level. Small pea gravel is covering the whole bottom, and there are no walls at all so you could walk right into the woods from where you stand. Just to the left of this tree house is a small clearing with a long wire strung between a tree and the house. Two bird feeders hang from the wire, and this is the gathering place for all kinds of forest wildlife.
There are many types of birds on this property and squirrels too. There have been rabbits too, but you never see them; they're much too shy. Goldfinches, purple finches, black capped chickadees, juncos, starlings, crows, blue jays, mourning doves, and sparrows all feed at the bird feeder. Ospreys have been seen wheeling overhead on their way to the lake across the street, and even owls have been heard hooting at night. Sometimes a woodpecker is around, hacking through an old tree at the back of the house. Hummingbirds drink at the hummingbird feeder hanging in front of a window of the actual house and butterflies feast on all of the flowers in the many gardens. The squirrels are territorial, so one lives under a pile of brush in the clearing by the tree house, and the other lives in the woods on the right side of the brick house. An albino squirrel is there as well, but since she is still a newborn squirrel, she is chased away from all of the seed.
There are feeders for the squirrels as well. A tree in front of the brick house has a plastic cup nailed to it and was filled daily for the squirrel who lived in the woods at the right of the house, Topei. The squirrel who lived in the brush, Theo, ate seeds that the birds had dropped, but also on the tree house the girl always put out seed on a protruding board for him. No-one really knew what the crows ate and no-one really wanted to ask, but sometimes the humans would throw out bread for them to eat. George and Jeanette always got that before the other crows, because they were always hanging around the property. A different seed is poured on the driveway every second day or so, and smelled like a foreign bird. Mourning doves always ate that and often remarked that it was good, but they couldn't shake off the feeling that they were eating leftovers. Bird sounds come from inside the house as well, and sometimes a strange green bird, a little bigger than a purple finch, is seen in the front window.
There is also a girl who goes out to the tree house every day. Sometimes she brings a mug of something hot and has a nice smell to Theo and Cassie, a back capped chickadee. There is a high shelf and she puts seeds up for the birds. Cassie is the only bird who is brave enough to go so near to the girl. Chickadees are the most curious of creatures, hopping around and trying to find a seed that fits their standards; they are also very picky eaters. They always peck around, choose one seed, fly away to a branch and peck it open, then come back for another. Theo isn't so afraid of the girl either, but he is more cautious than Cassie. Topei is actually terrified of her, but he won't admit it. He's always too busy chasing Oena and Eli, the two albino squirrels away from his feeder.
Earlier that year, Oena and Eli's father had chased them down from Silversides, the subdivision up the hill from the property, as squirrels always do. Alberto was albino as well, but since squirrels are colour-blind, it doesn't matter much. He was a big squirrel and when he found the front feeder he decided to stay a day or so feeding. Topei hadn't dared try and chase him, because Alberto was so much bigger. Then Alberto left to go back to his home. Oena and Eli had come out of hiding and began evading the temperamental Topei, and sneaking seeds from under his nose. Theo ignored them, which meant that he didn't mind them being there, but he didn't want to become afflicted with them. Sometimes, though, he would let them share his feeding grounds when he wasn't looking. The ever-friendly Cassie became their friend, and Ophelious, an American goldfinch and very formal, would greet them when he saw
All in all, the forest was pretty peaceful, except for when Topei and Theo chased each other, or when
Topei had a temper tantrum. Buisness went on as usual, but when one day a goldfinch, Helios, Ophelious' brother
from a property in Silversides, came with news about an event he'd heard George and Jeanette talking about what they'd heard from a passing osprey who'd eavesdropped on a family of screech owls, the whole forest was in an uproar.
"The king of Birds has had an owlet!" Helios cried, flying in from his property in Silversides. "King Solious the Great Horned Owl has had a son!" All of the birds chirped excitedly; the king of birds was the ruler of all of the birds, and it was a very important event for everyone.
"The king of birds, does that affect us?" Eli asked Theo quietly. They were sitting on the railing of the tree house with Oena listening to the chatter of the birds.
"And he, the queen, and their son are coming to every roost in the kingdom!" Helios finished with a high-pitched squawk. There was a rustling sound as every bird at the feeder flapped their wings in excitement and cheeped.
"I guess it does." Theo answered Eli. Helios was squawking quite unlike the dignified goldfinches and the juncos were all hopping around on the forest floor. Two dark shapes joined the group, which quieted at the sight of George and Jeanette.
"What's all the noise about?" quarked Jeanette, looking around the gathering place.
"You know quite well!" chirped Cassie, hopping off her branch to meet the crows. "The king's son! Coming here! Why didn't you tell us sooner?" It didn't sound like she was accusing the crows, just inquiring. George ruffled his feathers.
"Well, we were going to, that's why we came here. We just stopped in Silversides to eat some-" George stopped there, knowing that the other birds didn't want to hear what he and his sister had eaten.
"So." Peeped a small hummingbird, barley heard over the awkward silence. "Should we prepare?"
"Yes!" cried a mourning dove, Natima. Heads swivelled to hear what she would say. "Oh," She shrank back a bit at all of the eyes watching her. Mourning doves are very nervous birds, easily frightened. "Um, I just thought, well, maybe we could, you know, clean up a bit?"
"That's a good idea." Commented a blue jay. "It has gotten kind of messy around here, with all of the seed shells and whatnot." Natima looked immensely relieved that everyone had turned away from her after her outburst. She shrank back a little bit further into the trees.
"Seeds!" a chipmunk, Toover squeaked. He was very much like his cousin, Hoover, who lived at Kejimikugic campground. They both collected seed excessively, and the group realized that the king and his family would need to be fed and have a roost. "We need seeds for the king! I've got some relatives up in Silversides, and I can get them to help me collect some." With that, Toover sprinted off, across the lawn, around the deck to the back of the brick house and into the woods up to Silversides.
Theo turned around; he had an odd suspicion that another animal was behind him. He froze when he saw the girl sitting on the opposite railing with a look of surprise and curiosity. "Human!" he called to the others. "Scatter!" All of the birds did just that, flying away into the trees and melting into the shadows. The girl said something in the deep human tones that none of the creatures could understand. They perched on branches and cheeped and squawked and chirped and peeped and cawed and squeaked to each other, occasionally flying away to do jobs that had to be done. Topei showed up then, curious enough to ask Theo what the event was. When he was told, he scampered off to clean all of the seed shells he had dropped beneath his feeder away. Topei was a very messy eater.
The next day, the girl brought out a huge bucket of soapy water and began scrubbing furiously at the boards of the tree house. The birds and squirrels were curious about this, wondering how she knew that the king was coming, but decided not to worry about it. Besides, it kept her busy enough that they could work at the feeders without being afraid of her. She also filled both bird feeders right to the top, put out fresh seed on the seed shelves of the tree house, and had a dish of fresh water put out every day. The birds and squirrels cleaned all of the seed shells away, all of the stray twigs were put neatly in a pile, and seeds were collected for the royal family. Every day, more birds arrived to the roost of the king, doing their part in the preparation. Also a great nest was built in the biggest tree in the forest, just to the back of the house. A team of woodpeckers from all over pecked out a giant hole, making sure that it was just the right size so that the top of the tree wouldn't snap off. Soft down was also collected, and over time, the roost was ready. And not a moment too soon.
That afternoon, three huge birds were spotted heading across the sky. An osprey lookout raised the alarm as soon as they'd been seen, and all of the birds and squirrels assembled at the gathering spot. The girl was there too, sitting doing some mysterious thing humans do in the tree house. She looked up when she heard all of the wildlife making a tremendous sound, flapping their wings, cheeping as loud as they could. All of the non-bird creatures respectively stayed quiet, off to the sides. The girl stood up, trying to see what was happening, amazing at the number of birds around her. There were so many in all of the trees, the branches were sagging precariously. The tree house was lined with bird after bird, on the roof, on the railings, even on the floor by her feet. The greeting party was in line on the ground: Cassie, a terrified Natima, Ophelious, George, Millet (a junco), Hestia (a blue jay), Regan (a woodpecker) and others. The shapes grew bigger and bigger, larger then even the ravens and seagulls who had come. The girl just stood there, in complete awe as two fully-grown Great Horned Owls and one owlet swooped down and landed under the birdfeeders. The small one stumbled a bit as he landed and almost fell, but his mother's wing caught him.
"Ah, a welcome sight!" rumbled King Solious when he saw the seeds that had been gathered. (It was an enormous pile) "But before we dine, let me do the introductions. My wife, Queen Annelle, and my new son, Prince Woodlinton!" Woodlinton hiccupped and looked around shyly.
"'Lo." He peeped quietly.
"This is quite the crowd." Queen Annelle commented as she looked around. "The best so far. And look at all the different types of our brothers and sisters! Look, Woodlinton, there's an albino squirrel!" All eyes turned to Eli and Oena, sitting with the other squirrels and chipmunks. "Come here, darlings. Don't worry." The sisters went to the royal family and bowed. Surprisingly, the king began to laugh, hooting loudly.
"That's the first time a squirrel was bowed to me!" he said happily. "You really don't have to; we're not your rulers, but it's a very nice gesture. What're your names?"
"I'm Oena, and this is Eli." Oena answered. She was the braver one of the two.
"And Woodlinton, there's a chipmunk! And look at the woodpeckers! And there are seagulls! We haven't made it to the sea yet, you'll see more as you get closer." The queen was telling her son. He looked slightly frightened from all of the animals watching him and shuffled closer to his mother.
"Now, there's no need to be frightened, my son!" hooted his father. "Come, let's eat. I'm starved. And all of you," he added to all of the bystanders. "Come and mingle, don't be so formal. We'd love to meet you all." The birds looked at each other, but did as they were asked and flew down to meet their rulers. The girl still stood were she had when the owls arrived, and was visible when all of the birds had flown down to the ground.
"And that, Woodlinton, is a human." Woodlinton swung around, terrified and almost disappeared into his mother's feathers. "Only be scared if they try to approach you." Advised his father.
"Oh, this one is alright." Assured Cassie and Ophelious. "She usually just sits up there and does weird human things. She's never really bothered us."
The birds feasted and talked for at least an hour before Woodlinton began yawning uncontrollably.
"Bed!" his mother said firmly. They were led around the back of the house were their nest was waiting and showed them.
"Oh, Woodlinton! Solious! Look, a woodpecker must've made this! And look at all of the down! We'll be so warm and comfortable! We've never slept in a woodpecker made nest before." Annelle added to all of her subjects. They flew up to it and nestled in for the night. All of the other birds slept around them, on branches or on the ground as kind of a guard. The sun went down, and they all went to sleep.
Once in the night a curious raccoon had to be chased away by the ravens, seagulls, and local owls, as quietly as possible, but that was the only real disturbance. Then the sun rose, and the royal family had one last breakfast with the birds of the property and surrounding areas.
"It was so lovely here, we might have to stop by again sometime. We'll send word ahead if we do." Annelle said as they prepared to move on.
"We'd like that." Answered all of the birds, and they made a terrific noise again as their rulers flew off into the sky.
There is a house on the Waverley road with trees at the front and back, and also on either side. At the front of the house, just inside the trees, there is a kind of tree house. It's not in a tree, but rather kind of a house in the trees. There are two bird feeder hung on a wire suspended between the tree house and a tree, and this is the gathering spot for many forest animals, peaceful and often visited by the King of birds and his family. A rest spot, a sanctuary.