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The Killed Bird on the Road
by Ann Berlin

Today on the way home I saw a bird standing in the middle of the road, on the white lines. As I approached, he didn't move; he just stood there, as if he was sick. At the last second he flew away, normally, and landed on the tall grass on the side of the road. Then I noticed the freshly killed bird on the road, between the two lanes. The bird I first saw, who wouldn't budge until his life was in danger, had been standing over a fallen comrade.

I pulled over into the gas station and watched him. When there was a break in the cars, he'd fly over to the dead bird, and just stand there, until forced to retreat to the grass. No one else seemed to notice.

Even beings smart enough to form complex relationships, work in groups, create music, navigate by the stars, and use tools may feel bewildered and lost when a friend suddenly dies.

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