Saturday, August 20, 2011

Borrowing is for the Birds

The Colonel's ornithological passion and enlightened desire to provide help for the least among the residents of his rump republic is beginning to reveal unintended consequences.  There is palpable fear here aboard the Colonel's vast holdings at the shallow northern end of deep southern nowhere that currying favor with the feathered fauna on the grounds of Eegeebeegee is creating a dependency class for whose provision the resources of the Tallahatchie Free State are increasingly stressed to sustain.

Take, for example, the state bird of the Colonel's virtuous and less and less virtual republic, founded as much hand-on-wallet as tongue-in-cheek: the ruby-throated hummingbird.

From the first of April through the end of October each year, the grand gardens adjacent to the Big House play host to a hummer host whose natural numbers have swollen to unnatural levels due to several large sugar-water feeders that attract veritable buzzing clouds of the diminutive hovering jewels.  So many hummingbirds have habituated to the handout that the Colonel's grocery bill swells seasonally with the addition of several tons [literary license warning light blinking] of sugar with which he daily replenishes the dole. 

With so many handout-habituated hummingbirds hovering hungrily [abnormal alliteration alarm sounding] above the grounds of the capital of the Tallahatchie Free State, their notorious territorially anti-social behavior is manifested exponentially.  Above the ever-present hum of scores of pairs of wings, a shrill chatter of complaint about disrespect rises and falls as the tiny birds crowd in constant contention at the limited leads to the Colonel's largess.  It is a good thing that hummingbirds are of such limited mass and without the means to ignite flames or carry markers, else the Colonel would fear for a feathered flash mob of arson, looting, and vandalism.  

"Cut 'em off!," the callously conservative, yet otherwise kind-hearted Miss Brenda cries.  "They can fend for themselves quite well!" 

"Too cruel!," the Colonel counters.  "Besides, they love me.  See how they flock around me when I refill the feeders?"

"They're eating us out of house and home!," the Colonel's consort complains.

"Don't worry," the Colonel mollifies his mate, "I'll go borrow some sugar from the neighbors."

"They'll eventually stop loaning you sugar," the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda warns.

"Have no fear, my dear, I'll plant some sugar cane."

"Where?"

"Why, in the fenced-in garden, of course.  Can't have the critters eatin' all the cane."

"Where are we going to grow our vegetables thenWe have a lot of mouths to feed, right now."

"C'mon, Miss Brenda, we'll worry about that next year..."
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