The Chickadee (& Humanity)

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“Your humble relative,” replies the Chief.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“Your savior!” replies the colonist.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“Lost,” replies the wanderer whose inherent meandering means not planning ahead.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“This moment,” replies the philosopher, monk, or new-age spiritualist (depends on how it’s said/the intentions behind it/level of self-awareness).

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“Nothing,” replies the nihilist.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“Damned,” replies the Christian.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“The past,” replies the pessimist.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“The future,” replies the optimist who nonetheless suffers from anxiety.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“A rumor. A notion. The face of a dream?” replies the poet.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“Is that your thesis?” replies the scientist.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“How about I tell you what I’m not…” replies the politician.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“Hashtag vanlife is my hashtag response, follow for follow?” replies the social media bot.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“Excuse me?” replies the woke person.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“Tired—can you believe the youth these days? The world is going to hell in a handbasket,” replies every aging generation.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“Underpaid and undervalued,” replies the underpaid and undervalued career-wielding mother with a PhD.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“Namaste, bitches, YOLO,” replies the American yogi-hipster.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“A climber, obviously,” replies the over-trained person who promptly feels out the bark of the tree for hand holds.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“A real climber,” replies the other over-trained person who can only afford to eat cat food or donuts.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“Pitted,” replies that one surfer dude.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“Yours truly. Or silicon,” replies Siri.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“An ultra-runner, ultra-trail-runner actually, and a climber, mountain biker, IronMan finisher—you know, the basics…” replies Boulder, Colorado.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“Gluten-free, vegan—a coconut, really,” replies the non-celiac coconut.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“Afraid for my life and the planet,” replies the refugee, BIPOC person, and/or the poor and disenfranchised, the majority of the world population, etc.

“What are you?” asks the chickadee.

“What? I can’t hear you over all these humans,” replies the other chickadee.

“What are you doing?” asks the first chickadee.

“Nesting in this tree before they chop it down.”

“Oh, okay. I’ll just go to that tree over there then.” Flit, flit.

“I am nesting!” tweets the chickadee.

“Did that bird just say, ‘cheeseburger’?” says the thru-hiker.

“I didn’t hear anything,” says the logger.


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