UC Chapter 4: Traveling Heroes

Grace happily gorged on grass.  It was an unofficial lunch break for the trio. However, it should be noted that the term lunch break was used very loosely as Lawrence had tried the grass, but his stomach immediately informed him that he was not into it.  On the other hand, Willie, who was also a bird, could eat the grass without complaining.

“How can you do that?”  Lawrence asked.

“I guess I’m just not as picky of an eater as you are, buddy!”  Willie surmised.

Lawrence fumed at himself yet again for his terrible luck with genetics, or whatever it was that was causing him problems.

Lawrence’s stomach began to growl as Stevie Wonder’s “Living Just Enough For The City” began playing in his head.  At least he had music he could think about.   Unfortunately, this track just made him more hungry and irritated.

“We just have to get to the city!”  Lawrence screamed.  “I need food, and all the corn around here is all locked up and out of reach!  We need to run like Hell again!”

“You know, dearest Lawrence, when you use the same expression over and over again it loses its effectiveness in causing your friends to be motivated.”  Grace informed.

Willie jumped on her back as if he was picking sides.

Lawrence grumbled to himself and walked around behind Grace.

“Trust me when I say, I really don’t want to do this!”  Lawrence exclaimed.  He then proceeded to peck Grace hard in the behind.  Grace screamed and started running.  Lawrence managed to grab onto her tail at the last minute and heave himself up.  They were going to the city if it was the last thing they did.


Winston the Carrier Pigeon stood perched on the railing of the tiny brick balcony of a studio apartment which itself sat perched on top of a shop which offered delicatessen services and butchering of meat and poultry.  Winston was glad that his owner loved him and would never butcher a pigeon.  Here in this small, cramped apartment he and his owner went about their lives.  Winston’s owner’s name was Bartholomew.  Bart was well respected in the community for his meat shop as well as his positive attitude toward Winston and everyone else he would cross paths with.  During the long days when Bart was at the shop, Winston would take short haul flights around the city, breathing in the polluted air.  City life was disgusting.  However, Bart always provided Winston with plenty of food and water to keep him healthy and running.

In spite of his good fortune, Winston had bigger dreams than all of this.  On rainy nights, he and Bart would sit together and listen to the great speeches of the past.  Bart had these available on some sort of disk that he would put into a machine with speakers that would allow them both to listen.  It was these speeches that inspired Winston to become a great orator.  Even if only other birds could understand him, because that’s how this story works.  In order to become a great speaker, good functioning lungs were most definitely a requirement.  In order to have good functioning lungs one must breathe proper air.  Not the swill that was in the city!  Sure, there were mandatory green spaces in the city, but obviously they were not cutting it quite enough as far as air quality was concerned.  Winston had heard about the lush rolling hills and farm lands with clean air that surrounded the city, but he had never actually been there.  Why couldn’t today be the day where he took a longer flight just to check things out?  Winston decided he was finally going to chase after this dream.  Eating more birdseed than usual, Winston prepared for his mission.  Upon liftoff he realized that he weighed more than usual.  The longer flight should burn it all off, but it took him a few minutes to get used to his new balance.

Winston soared as high as he could around the buildings.  Within a more reasonable time than you would think, he and his bloated self had made it out to the countryside.  Winston couldn’t believe he had put this off for so long!  His first five seconds in the open air were fantastic!  Things were about to get even better as he spied three travellers, a cow, a turkey, and some sort of chicken that he would have to get a closer look at to be sure.  Winston excitedly commenced descent procedure and made his way toward the trio.  It would be good to get his feet into actual dirt!


Lawrence, Willie, and Grace could see the city!  Their goal was finally just in front of them.  Or so they thought.  Walking now, because sustained running is very difficult, they could see the skyline, but it didn’t seem to get any closer.

“It must be there!  We can see it!”  Lawrence bellowed.

“What on earth are you overcompensating for?”  Willie asked.

Lawrence ignored his comment and kept walking.  He had never been this hungry.  When they actually got to the city, he was going to eat all the food!

Suddenly the group was assaulted from above by the Lenny Kravitz jam “Fly Away.”

Winston was set on making an entrence the other three would not forget!

“Hello, gentlemen, and most gorgeous lady!”  Winston initiated.

“We must become friends with this sweet bird immediately!”  Grace screamed.

“You only like him because he chose words that make him sound nicer than us.”  Lawrence deadpanned.

“Maybe that’s just what I need, Lawrence!”  Grace shot back.  Willie was also happy with the possibility of making a new friend.

“Isn’t this fresh air amazing?”  Winston wondered aloud.  “My name is Winston, and I come in peace.”

“Yeah, it’s ok.”  Lawrence admitted.

“What brings you three to the edge of the city?”  Winston inquired.

“My name is Lawrence, I wanted to see if the city was more interesting than the farm, rolling hills, and lake area that we came from.”  Lawrence said.

“You can call me whatever you want, but my name is Grace.  I’m here because Lawrence is impulsive, but he is my friend and I do not want him to die.”  Grace replied.

“I’m Willie.  I just want to be where my friends are!”  Willie exclaimed.

“So, two of you are reasonable.  As for Lawrence, city life is overrated.  I’ve lived here my whole life.  All the grand things you hear about are just for show.  It’s not a place for birds.  You cna’t breathe there.”  Winston stated.

“And yet you continue to be alive.”  Lawrence quipped.

“I have a wonderful owner who loves me.”  Winston said.

“On the farm, we have an owner who loves the idea of fatter versions of, us and feeds us nothing but corn constantly.”  Lawrence and Willie said in unison.

“I get to eat grass all the time and it’s wonderful.  In the winter, I even get hay!”  Grace exclamed.

“We just want to see what else is out there.  This is an adventure.”  Lawrence said.

“It’s imperative that you have someone with you who can show you what it’s like in the city.  I could do this for you if you show me your farm after.”  Winston said.

“We’ll see.”  Lawrence said.  He wasn’t about to go home just yet after they spent all this time getting here.

Three became four.  Winston was accepted into the group as a friend with open arms.  They made their way toward hte city a stronger, more cohesive unit.  Lawrence could smell the exhaust and baked asphalt.  They were not far now.

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