3rd Place, The Antonym Creative Non-Fiction Contest (Use an ordinary word in an extraordinary way), November 2021
Myth: Birds of a feather flock together.
It’s your turn, the flock scolded him.
“I don’t wanna,” Little Bird whined.
Go on! It’s your turn.
So, Little Bird hops over to where the human is sitting on a park bench eating. Little Bird bends his neck, and tips his head pitifully to one side in true supplication.
The target human falls for Little Bird’s ruse and throws Little Bird crumbs.
Fellow birds dive in for the take.
Good job, Little Bird!
Truth? Birds of a feather are opportunists.
I once saw birds on a wire refuse to make space, to move over so an incoming could sit down.
Geese, Paul Theroux observed, rule by intimidation; the gander by dominance.
I once saw a crow leapfrog another crow.