Yuletide Aviary – Part 2

Read Part 1

            This night is not unlike most nights for the two birds. There are fewer birds and elves than usual and no other creatures. They discuss many topics, but they don’t always get along.

            “You think they have any of those little pretzel sticks here?” Jacob says.

            “Ask him.” Thomas says.

            “Hey Lutin? You got pretzel sticks, Eh?”

            “Nah. But I got those pickled eggs you like.”

            Jacob slices his wing by his neck signaling Lutin to stop talking. Thomas glares at Jacob.

            “You cannibal freak!”

            “Relax Tommy. They’re chicken eggs and they ain’t got no babies in there.”

            “That’s not the point. I knew you couldn’t be trusted. You’re just like all the other Jays stealing bird eggs. You’re sick, you know that? You’re a sick bird.”

            Lutin rests his elbow on the counter and his chin in his hand. He watches with excitement.

            “Don’t be a hoser. You know me. You know I ain’t a thief.”

            “Then why you eatin’ eggs!? And what the hell is a hoser?”

            “Look, I’m sohrry. I never ate the eggs in front of you ‘cause I know how you feel aboot it. But chickens lay eggs all the time not just when they have babies like we do. Just try one and see if you like it.”

            “Hell no! I ain’t no cannibal. I gotta use the john. You better have forgotten about them eggs when I get back.”

            The Hens are quiet as Thomas walks past. He sees his reflection in the mirror.

            “What are you lookin’ at!?” Thomas says.

            No one speaks while he’s gone. The commotion has subsided and Lutin returns his attention to the television looking bored. Thomas walks out and again sees his reflection.

            “Still starin’? You got something to say? Don’t mess with me, man. I’m from Southie!”

            Thomas struts back to his seat with his feathers ruffled.

            “That guy’s getting on my nerves.”

            “There’s no one there, Tommy. It’s a mirror, Eh.”

            “Don’t tell me what I saw. You weren’t there.”

Read Part 3.

Coffee and Contemplation: Yule/Yuletide

December 21 is the first day of Winter or the Winter Solstice. This is also celebrated as Yule. Yule is the final celebration for the Wheel of the Year and the cycle ends and begins again. This is also when the Holly King is celebrated during the peak of his power and reign over half the year. He will lose the battle to the Oak King who reigns over the other half of the year in the Spring. Yule celebrations involve bonfires, decorating with holly, mistletoe and the boughs of evergreen trees, ritual sacrifices, feasts, and gift-giving. I don’t recommend you participate in the sacrifices because I don’t recommend killing anything.

Many of the traditions of Yule were carried over into Christmas celebrations. The midwinter feast usually lasted 12 days (the 12 days of Christmas). Vikings decorated evergreen trees with gifts, food, and carvings (Christmas tree). In Norse tradition, Old Man Winter visited homes to join the festivities. Odin was described as a wanderer with a long white beard and is considered the first Father Christmas. These are a few examples and chances are many of you already celebrate Yule believing it’s Christmas. I think it’s time for the world to admit that Christmas has never been about Jesus. Also, let’s just call it Yule from now on.

Yuletide Aviary – Part 1

            Far North where no daylight ventures during Winter months is a small village. Blinking lights cover every home and shop. A thick layer of powdered snow wraps around everything as more snow sways in the gentle wind. Many a variety of creatures live in this small beacon of civilization surrounded by barren tundra. The town’s purpose is to bring Yule to the world. Gifts are made and prepared to be delivered to everyone.

            It’s not just elves and reindeer who aid in this plan. All creatures play a role bringing the holidays to life. Birds of many varieties and origins comprise the majority of helpful creatures. Many of them perform most of the deliveries. There are a few with less demanding roles who spend a relaxing evening with friends and colleagues.

            Two such birds meet at the one shop in the small village that serves adult beverages. The soft hum of the jukebox plays carols. A trio of French Hens discuss their vacation plans. On barstools now facing each other sit Jacob and Thomas.

            Thomas is a Northern Cardinal. He eats from a bowl of seeds and sips his rum eggnog. He sprinkles nutmeg on his drink between sips. Jacob is a Blue Jay and a little taller than Thomas. He sips on a bottle of Naughty Nick’s Ginger Beer. The two birds sit with a seat between them.

            The bartender is an elf with a beard longer than his body. He stares at a television without interest waiting for anyone else to enter the shop on this slow night. The three Hens cackle at their table. Thomas turns towards them looking annoyed.

            “Don’t pay them no mind, Tommy. Leave ‘em be, Eh.” Jacob says.

            “Ain’t nobody else here. Why they gotta be so damn loud?”

            “They’re having a good time. You catch the game yesterday?”


            “Which team you root for?”

            “Boston! Who else?”

            “But they played the Cardinals?”
            I didn’t grow up in St. Louis and the Cardinals suck. Who gave them permission to use me as their mascot anyway?”

            “My hometown team are the Blue Jays, and I don’t mind being their mascot, Eh.”

            “Yeah, whatever.”

Read Part 2