Thomas looks around the shop.
“You okay there, pal?” Jacob says.
“That other guy left. Guess I scared him off.”
“Maybe you’ve had enough eggnog, Eh?”
“Nope. I’m getting’ another. Barkeep? Another round.”
Lutin placed another beer and eggnog in front of the birds. The Hens whispered clucks go unnoticed. Thomas pecks a few seeds. He offers the bowl to Jacob who declines by raising a wing. They enjoy the silence for a few minutes. The music isn’t loud enough for anyone to care.
A little bell jingles as the shop door opens. A tall yellow and orange Heron ducks under the door jam and enters.
“Ah, geez. Not this guy. He gets so depressing around delivery season.” Jacob says.
“Good evening…gentlemen.” The large Heron says.
He towers over everyone in the shop with his head only a few inches from the ceiling. He sits next to Thomas with a seat between them.
“Hey there, Ben. You finish your deliveries already?” Jacob says.
“One could say that. I’ve…taken some time off…as I’ll be passing on soon…very soon.” Benjamin says.
“Sorry to hear that old timer.” Thomas says.
“Oh, it’s…not so bad. I’ll be born again…a few weeks after.”
“Born again, Eh? How’s that work?”
“Well…I burst into flames…I’ll burn in such a violent way…then from those ashes…a new version of myself…will rise up.”
“So, will you be the same or like a new person?”
“I will…be the same…but younger and…more virile.”
“This happened before, Eh?”
“About…17 times. I may have…lost count.”
“Good luck with that, I guess.” Thomas says.
“Thank you. I’ll be…on my way…just saying goodbye to everyone. See you…on the other side.”
“See you ‘round Ben.”
“Take it easy there, Ben.”
“Hey Jake, that’s guy’s a couple twigs short of a nest.”
“You’re telling me. First time he’s talked about death though. You think he’s okay? Maybe he shouldn’t be alone, Eh?”
“He’ll be fine.” Lutin says.
“How do you know?” Thomas says.
“He’ reborn about every 500 years. I’ve seen it twice.”