Early in the morning, the birdman hit the streets. That is to say, he trod the dusty paths of the American housing areas outside Clark Air Force Base. He walked all morning in the rising heat and made only a few sales. One lady wanted a pair of Java Rice Birds. He knew his birds. He sold her a young, healthy pair. Another lady, a neighbor of the first, wanted one of the small green parrots.
“I bought one before from another man, and it died of parrot fever,” she complained.
“I cannot guarantee their health,” he said honestly. “They are good when I buy them in Manila. After that…” He turned his hands up. “I do not know.”
She bought the one bird.
In the noonday heat, the birdman stopped to eat his lunch. He fretted over the issue of sick birds.
But what can I do? he thought.
Copyright 2014 George Lowell Tollefson