Flash Fiction: The Bird War

Welcome to the Spot Writers. This month’s prompt is to write a story containing the following words: bird, war, hay, roof, egg. The following poem comes to us from Val Muller, author of The Scarred Letter, a reboot of Hawthorne’s original, which was just featured as one of Loudoun County’s Battle of the Books selections. You can learn more at www.ValMuller.com.

The Bird War

By Val Muller


I saw the bird come out of the attic in the coldest part of March.

I said, “It just needs a place to rest while the snow covers grass and bark.”


But come the sun of April and the warmth of May,

I saw something growing from the roof itself: Twigs, feathers, leaves, and hay.


The bird had built a nest there, an attic palace all its own.

But I could not let its tripped-out pad become a permanent home.


With so many leafy trees and bushes in my yard,

Why must the bird nest in the attic there above my garage?


The awning under the roof bulged with its excessive nest.

The dog growled up at the roof; a bird flied out in wrath.


I could not let the bird stay in the attic of my home.

What damage it might cause there would be mine to fix alone.


So I retrieved a ladder and climbed the lofty height.

Wore gloves and pried with crowbar to start the bird-man fight.


I pulled a fist of bedding and then a fistful more.

A bird flew out, cried out in wrath at my unhappy chore.


The next filled up a shopping bag and overflowed and then

Out with the last of the hay fell two blue robin’s eggs.


They broke upon the pavement of my driveway down below.

The yellow yolks now running while my lungs echoed “No!”


But I could not have a family of very active birds

Living there in my attic (remember Hitchcock’s film The Birds?).


I caulked and plugged the rooftop so the birds could not return.

I heard them cawing in the tree—eyeing me with scorn.


Later the next morning, they were roosting on the roof,

Eyeing me with malice, their angry caws the proof.


My hand was red from reaching into their attic nest.

The skin blotched and bruising from the gloves and all the rest.


And so I bought a birdhouse affixed it near my home

And watched the family move in there, hoping it was enough to atone.


But still I see them perching upon the rooftop once more

Desiring return to my attic—crying the caws of war.



The Spot Writers—Our Members:

RC Bonitzhttp://www.rcbonitz.com

Val Muller: http://valmuller.com/blog/

Catherine A. MacKenzie: https://writingwicket.wordpress.com/wicker-chitter/

Deborah Marie Dera:  www.deborahdera.com


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