There on the ground, beneath the worn wooden feeder lies what remains of a blue jay. A blue jay, that most striking of birds with its distinctive blue and white feathers. Many of us humans, with our anamorphic tendencies have labeled the blue jay vain. A blue jay is the cocky, loud-speaking fellow at the party who makes you wonder why he was invited. You know him. He is the well-built good-looking Adonis wearing on an expensive tailored, suit-he lets you know the price as he pushes his way through to the front of the buffet or elbows one of the meeker guests while reaching for a canape. Or perhaps the large, though beautiful woman of the group who dresses in all her jewels and wears designer shoes for the soccer game, her lipstick always perfect, even as she stuffs a third hotdog down her throat, all the while laughing in that loud nasally voice. You know the voice. The one that says, "Look at me! Keep me the center of attention!" "Here! Here!"
Finding those blue and white feathers was like looking down at the party and finding a beautiful silk tie lying amid shredded pieces of a fine tailored sports jacket. What could have happened. How could someone so beautiful cease to exist? Surely there is no one with strong enough will to edge him out of the party? Nobody would dare stand between her and her hotdog, right? But there they are, those feathers, the blue jay's perfect clothes, its jewels, broken, scattered like the puff of a dandelion, stepped upon the moment before it blew away.
Could there be a new bird in town? Somebody new to "rule the roost?" There is no sign of an intruder, just those feathers, just the silence. Once he is gone, we miss the blue jay. We miss that familiar loud call, always more than just a song. We will miss that nasal announcement, "I am here! Get out of my way!" Who could possibly interrupt such a flamboyant life? Who would have the nerve? Maybe a guest at the party had had enough. Maybe another guest felt that the blue jay made just too much racket, was just too obvious. Maybe somebody at the party, someone waiting patiently for his turn to eat, decided, "Enough is enough!" "That loud pain-in-the-butt has got to go." Perhaps it was a bird that none of the others noticed, one not quite so flamboyant. Someone not used to being pushed around - the strong, silent type. Someone who just viewed the situation then decided what needed to be done. It was now his turn at the buffet. Perhaps. . . But who? We'll probably never know?