Franky stayed up in his nest on the telephone pole all day on Christmas Eve. He didn't even come down on Christmas Day when I went out and sang Jingle Bells to him. I left his present at the bottom of the pole (a bunch of birdseed hardened into the shape of an acorn), and hung his stocking on a little thumbtack. Just like always he didn't look at me and just stood still the whole time. I told him I loved him and went back inside. I know he doesn't like to be bothered by his dad.
A couple days after Christmas some other birds his age started hanging around his nest, and they would sometimes fly around the neighborhood together, and it hurt a little bit to see him playing with them. I guess I was glad he had some happiness though. They would fly over to the top of the walnut tree, and sometimes do little swoops at the lawn from up high, and chase each other. Then they would hang around his nest or sit on the telephone wire together, stuff I could never do with him.
Today when I went outside to make sure he had water in the little white coffee can lid he likes to drink out of, all kinds of birds were sitting up there with Franky. It was maybe ten times as many as before, and they were all looking around and chirping and stretching their wings. Then one took off and started flying in a circle above the nest, and then some more, and pretty soon all the birds but Franky were circling in the air. Little by little their circle got bigger, and then one end of it came loose and they started to fly away like a long ribbon.
When the last birds flew away Franky stretched his wings and jumped into the air to follow them. I'm glad he looked back one last time, because I was waving at him. When I was sure he was too far away to see me anymore I went over to the little space between the shed and the fence and I had a long cry all by myself where nobody could see. It is hard enough to be a dad, I don't want people to make fun of me too.