In the last episode Mike finally made it to Ben the bluebird’s nest, narrowly avoiding being eaten by whatever lurked in the ivy. Now, he must see if he can make sense of the crazy bird’s ramblings.
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The dark shadow cast by the bird’s wings descended over the nest where Mike sat perched and trembling. His held fast to the sticks that made up the nest, his knuckles white with the strain. Being at the top of the tree was almost enough to unnerve him completely. Looking down, when he dared, all he could see were branches and leaves, the ground had vanished.
“Why look, I candy I’ve got, all wrapped up nicely. Is it a chocolate or a mint?” Ben said in a sing song voice while hopping back and forth, making the nest bounce and Mike’s stomach turn even more. “We best unwrap it and find out.”
If Mike could have worked up the courage to let go of the nest for a moment, he would have rapped the bird on the beak with his cane. “You will do nothing of the sort!
“The candy talks!” The bird laughed and cocked his head so far he was nearly upside down as he leaned in to get a better look. His black beady eyes sparkled with glee. “I’ve never had a talking candy before. Let’s get the wrapper off.” He nipped at Mike with his beak. “I do hope it’s got nuts.”
That was enough for Mike, he gripped the nest with one hand and swung the cane with the other. “Benjamin Bluejay I am not candy!” he hollered as it came down on the intruding beak with a crack.
The bird jumped to the other side of the nest, rubbing at his beak with the edge of his dusty blue wing. “That wasn’t very nice. No, no no…” He paced and twitched his wings, glancing back at Mike as if trying to figure him out.
“Listen crazy bird, I need to talk to you. You know everything about the park, what do you know of the she tinkers?”
Ben froze and fixed Mike in his stare, eyes narrowed. Then he began singing to himself, bobbing his head to the rhythm of the words.
Betwixt the pines a willow stands
Where the Valkyries rule the land.
With pointed spear and battle cry
They say that they will never die.
Mike leaned forward, the words meant something to the bird they had to be some sort of riddle. “Are the Valkyries the she tinkers? Are you trying to tell me where they are?”
The bird screeched and gave a curt nod. “Smart candy, now I can eat you?”
“Oh no, never, I’m not food.” Mike scooted back as the bird came closer, clicking his tongue inside its beak. “If it’s food you want I know where you can get some delicious biscuits and tarts.”
The bird stopped and stood up tall. “I like tarts, are there raspberry ones?”
“Certainly, and blueberry too. I’m sure she will make whatever you like if you are polite.” Mike fished out one of the biscuits he had forgotten about from his pockets and tossed it forward. “Here, try this.”
Ben whistled and snatched up the biscuit. “Yes, I like. Where, tell me!”
Mike cringed at the thought of what he was about to suggest but it was the only way he could think of to get down from this tree and over the willow tree mentioned in the song. “I’ll tell you, but first you have to do something for me.”
“What does the candy want?”
“Carry me to the willow tree where the she tinkers are, then I’ll tell you where you can get your tarts.” Mike cringed. Suggesting to be flown over the park to yet another tree? He must be losing his mind.
Mike felt his other pocket, the second biscuit was still there. “When we get there.”
The bird gave a happy whistle and without waiting a moment grabbed Mike by the shoulders and lifted him from the nest.
To be continued…