Two Buzzards - A Fable In Modern Times

Two friendly scavengers
were sitting by the roadside
awaiting the next gift
of manna from above,
(or at least from passage
under the wheels
of a sixteen wheeler)
when they were joined
by another of their kind.

The first was sitting
on a fence-post,
wings extended gathering
a bit of cool
while keeping a look out
for the next meal,
his friend meanwhile
hopped about on the ground
looking for some tidbit
that might have been
overlooked in the last foraging
of the carcass of the dog
that had become
a bit ripe even for their gentle taste.

Along comes something in the brush,
rattling the leaves
and with a slow shuffling motion,
emerged as a good sized possum
who sensed that there
was a ready and ripe meal
there for the taking.
He followed his nose
and was soon deep
into the guts of the matter
enjoying bits of liver and spleen
left over from
the buzzard's hasty meal.

He joined right in
with the buzzard on the ground,
neither giving a bit of notice
of the other as they both
sought the tastiest parts.

Said the post sitting buzzard,
'Why do we have to share
with such a low life marsupial
that goes about on four legs
while we can fly?

It's just not right
and I think we should
do something about it.
Sharing is ok
if the other side
is making the offers,
but this carcass is ours
and the possum
should just butt out
and leave us alone
to our business
which is after all a public service
as we dispose of the bounty
that is left
by the side of the road.'

The possum noticed not at all
this attempt to marginalize
his efforts and he continued
to feast on the plunder.

The second buzzard thought,
'Maybe my friend is right,
we shouldn't have to share,
after all didn't we
spot this from above
and claimed it first? '

'Away with you, ' he said.
And tried to poke out the eyes
of the offending possum,
but unsuccessful was his thrust
since the possum was feasting
with eyes closed,
head deep in the dog's body cavity.

'Attack him,
don't let him have another bite, '
his companions cried.
And with a swoop,
he landed on the possums back
and began to peck at his tail.
All this was to no avail.

After a while,
the possum annoyed
by all the commotion,
or perhaps having sated
his first hunger pangs
gave up and started to walk away.

'We have won, '
cried the first bird
and they both in joy
leapt into the air,
right into the path of a semi
that discriminated not
against those who
came into its path.

With a rush,
both buzzards where struck dead
and fell at the feet of the possum,
who seeing
this latest gift from heaven,
gave a quick sniff
of the still warm bodies,
and thought,
best to leave them for tomorrow
when they will be ripe,
and he rustled back into the brush.



by Sidi J. Mahtrow

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