Eagle No. 1: It's about time you got home with lunch. I've been sitting here in front of the camera since dawn.|
Eagle No. 2: It was your idea to star in this reality show, not mine.
No. 1: I didn't know the Alcoa EagleCam would be in my face all day while you're out doing the town.
No. 2: Doing the town? This is Davenport, not gay Paree. I flap my wings raw chasing down our meals.
No. 1: And judging by the carcass in your talons, I'm guessing we're having dead squirrel again.
No. 2: Squirrel isn't good enough for the Duchess of York? Pardon me, Your Highness.
No.1: We live on the Mississippi River, the fishing center of the Midwest, and what does my husband bring home for dinner? Catfish? Fresh eel, still squirming? No. Every day, another dead squirrel.
No. 2: You think these things are easy to come by? Like I put a few nickels into some sort of rodent vending machine by the Alcoa employees' entrance and out pops dinner? I worked for this squirrel.
No.1: That'd be easier to believe if I couldn't see the tire tracks on its back.
No. 2: OK, so it's roadkill. I do the best I can -- unlike some people I could name who lounge around the nest all day long.
No. 1: Oh yeah, it's a life of ease, sitting on these eggs 24/7, just waiting for the Great Provider to bring home a gourmet treat.
No. 2: Discussions like this are the magnet that always pulls me homeward.
No. 1: You don't like our little nest?
No. 2: It's not the nest. It's having the whole world watching us. I regurgitate snake scales or rabbit teeth, and it gets streamed around the world in real time. It makes me want to spread my wings and fly away.
No. 1: Well, while you were spreading your wings over State Street waiting for a pickup truck to lay rubber on a squirrel, our firstborn was here.
No. 2: So the big kid stopped by to see the old folks, eh? How's he doing?
No. 1: He lost his job at the Arsenal.
No. 2: What? How does a bald eagle lose a government job?
No. 1: Technology, he said.
No. 2: Technology? All he did was sit on top of a flagpole.
No. 1: They replaced him with a plastic eagle.
No. 2: Probably made in China. I swear, I don't know how a young eagle can support himself nowadays.
No. 1: I told him you'd agree.
No. 2: Agree?
No. 1: I told him he could move back in with us.
No. 2: What? There's no room. We've got another brood coming.
No. 1: We'll make space. He can squeeze over in the corner.
No. 2: Under the snake bones and chipmunk fur? You know that's where I like to relax and pick the lice out of my feathers.
No. 1: Well, things will be a bit crowded around here with the kids back.
No. 2: Did you just say "kids" with an "s"?
No. 1: Whoops.
No. 2: Don't tell me last year's brood is bouncing back, too.
No. 1: They'll be home tomorrow.
No. 2: But they just left on their tour.
No. 1: It was canceled after two shows. They couldn't even draw a crowd in Peoria.
No. 2: I guess there's a limited audience for a trio of bald eagles harmonizing "Bohemian Rhapsody."
No. 1: Maybe it's an acquired taste.
No. 2: Speaking of taste, I ate half the squirrel on the way home. Why don't you finish it off while I go out and pick up some dessert.
No. 1: Good idea.
No. 2:What would you like?
No. 1: Oh, just surprise me.
Frank Mullen III of Aledo is a former Navy band leader.
Moline, IL Details
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