Bird Pie


Teri leaned close to the windowpane and blew on it. She watched the steam spread out on the glass in front of her face. Then she wiped the steam away and looked at the swirling snow outside the window. Snowflakes were falling everywhere. Teri could barely see the green tips of the evergreens peeking out of their white covering. Even the fence had a coating of snow.

Suddenly Teri saw two sparrows flutter down and land on the porch rail.

“Mother,” she called. “Come quickly. There are some sparrows on the porch. Can we throw a few bread crumbs to them?”

Mother walked across the room and stood next to Teri at the window. Together they watched as the birds flew from the rail onto the porch.

“Can we?” Teri asked again.

“We can do better than that,” Mother answered. “Today is a perfect day for bird pie.”

“Bird pie? May I help make it?” Teri asked excitedly.

“You certainly may, and you can begin by bringing me that wire basket I hung my flowers in last summer. We’ll hang our bird pie in a basket in the apple tree.”

Teri brought the basket and put it on the kitchen counter. “What does bird pie have in it?” she asked.

“Just three things,” Mother answered. “First all the bacon drippings I’ve been saving.”

Teri spooned the drippings into a big yellow bowl.

“Next we need enough flour to make a paste,” Mother said.

Teri stirred in the flour.

“And last we’ll add sunflower seeds,” Teri guessed, picking up the seeds that were lying on the counter.

“Right,” Mother smiled.

Mother held the basket while Teri spooned the bird pie into the wire container. Then Mother took the bird pie out into the yard and hung the basket in the apple tree.

Teri looked at the wire basket blowing gently back and forth on the limb of the apple tree.

“Do you think the birds will find our pie?” she asked Mother.

“I’m sure they will,” Mother answered. “Birds always seem to know when food is nearby.”

It was quiet while they waited and watched. Teri could hear the wind blowing around the house, picking up puffs of snow as it blew.

Then she saw a sparrow land on the branch above the pie. She held her breath. The bird bobbed along the branch closer and closer to the basket. Finally it fluttered into the air and landed on the basket.

Teri hugged her mother. “The sparrow found it!” she exclaimed. “He found our bird pie!”

Mother smiled. “Look again,” she said.

Teri looked out the window. Her eyes opened wide.

“One, two, three, four, five birds,” Teri counted. Then she smiled. “You were right. It is a perfect day for bird pie!”

[illustration] Illustrated by JaNeanne Webster