Hops and Giggles

elizabetholdhamChildish Moments, ShortsLeave a Comment

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Fifteen minutes (plus) free write using the following prompt: The birds didn’t go south for the winter.

The birds didn’t go south for the winter. At least not the young’uns. They refused to fly south, carrying the elders’ luggage one more time, so the elders could lounge in southern waters, float on their backs and demand that the young’uns act as lackeys and waiters, hoisting lily pads laden with drinks topped with bamboo umbrellas.  The young’uns suspected that the elders were sure as heck not meditating with spritzers as they said. The odor, for one thing.  Alcohol reeked through every feather. The giggles, another. The elders never giggled in the north.

So the young’uns stayed up north. They found an active hops brewery with an empty warehouse where they were protected from the elements. At night, they free-ranged the hops and barley for food and by day slept in a warm huddle. The warehouse was well insulated with poop, and they had hop stalks on which to lay. The only thing missing was water, difficult to find in the winter.

They inspected the tanks and realized that the liquid within was controlled by a quarter-turn spout. Quickly mastered by Wally with his engineer’s mind, they soon began filling themselves with fresh crafted, fine ales and happily waddled back to their warehouse at the end of each night.

The young’uns grew rather portly, that winter, and they, uh, kind of lost track of time. A week after the elders arrived back in the north and had seen not one feather of the young’uns, they held a memorial of sorts, with weeping and gnashing of beaks, and created such a ruckus that the young’uns awoke and realized holy heck that they had overslept their migration alarm.

They evacuated the warehouse and ran for takeoff. Most found it hard to get airborne, and Wally, poor Wally who had mastered the quarter turn handle and used it frequently, had the toughest time of them all. He barely cleared the barbed wire and got a shave where he never wanted one. The young’uns were excited to see the elders. The elders, however, were alarmed at the sudden droopy and loopy-winged appearance of the young’uns. And their odor. Alcohol reeked through every feather. They looked severely at the young’uns. The young’uns giggled.

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