The Bird Farm
With a fresh snow followed by a bright sunny day, their eyes squinted and danced in pain following the road due east into the rising sun. Mr. Bird attempted a few conversations with his nephew, but Richard gave short two or three worded rejoinders.
Uncle John stopped in Birch Clump’s village center for his mail, massaged his face and drew a breath. “Want to come in and meet some of your new neighbors?”
Richard just looked at him. The old man’s face bore sharp, deep creases; his eyes were narrow, dark brown, almost black. A lot of life was still in those eyes. He disappeared leaving only bright reflections of light from the snow at the window. Seasonally defoliated trees beyond the roadside were but a blur to the youth lost in thought. Pondering the name “Bird” again, as the uncle tramped through the snow banks to the general store housing the post office, Richard was grateful his grandfather took the name White. Growing up as a Bird might have had repercussions. Although the combination of Richard Bird had an air of distinction to it, his friends called him 'Rich.'
Rich Bird was too comical a name for success. He was headed for the Bird Farm to live.
“Where do you live?” an imagined schoolgirl asked while Richard waited.
“In the Bird house.”
“What bird house?” she would ask, strictly out of politeness.
“We run the Bird farm out on county road.”
“A bird farm,” she might say, “how very interesting. What do you raise on a bird farm?”