Tuesday 24 November 2015

Daily Prompt: Seat Guru

You get to plan a dinner party for 4-8 of your favorite writers/artists/musicians/other notable figures, whether dead or alive. Who do you seat next to whom in order to inspire the most fun evening?

I don’t think so. Another daily prompt that you really cannot serve up again, the food gets cold, stale, and everyone falls asleep listening to the same conversations, so I decided to deck the table for some others. They didn’t all arrive at once, but eventually they all arrived and there were a lot more than just 4-8.


First of all I had to buy the food, in all varieties. Something to hang on the tree and something to fill the birdhouse. Of course, not all the guests like to hang on the tree and peck at the seed pods, they like to visit the house. The guests are also very sensitive to being watched. If you put one foot wrong they leave the dining table and sit in a tree, but they return when you have moved away: being shy is one of their characteristics. Who do I mean, why the birds of course.

Temperatures are falling, through the night below 0°, reaching -5°. This morning there was a layer of frost on the grass. It is no longer easy for the birds to find something beneath the icy layers and so it is time to lay the table and send invites. Actually they are not so fussy about receiving official invitations, the seeds have arrived, and so the birds arrive.

They have their conversations, like “move over, that was my sunflower seed”, or “did you see that finch, she is grabbing it all”. It is the sparrows that seem to be taking over with the organisation, but they do outnumber the rest. Now there is silence, the birds are sitting on the apple tree branches, a  tit is pecking at a hanging net packed with seeds surrounded by a fat layer, but there is one single bird. She always waits until the others have gone, she likes to eat alone, and not in the bird house. No, she is something special, our robin that visits every year. She approaches carefully and waits patiently apart from the others. Now she can pounce and take her meal, one seed after the other, it is now her territory.

Of course, the blackbirds also arrive, but bird houses are not their thing. They prefer to sit, or rather wander below, pecking their food from the ground. That is one of the reasons why I have three laid tables with food: hanging from the tree, in their private banqueting hall in the house, and on the ground. Blackbirds prefer oat flakes and peanuts, although they can be rather partial to the odd sunflower seed in between.

I noticed that I always have well fed birds in my area, but up to now none have fallen from the branch whilst attempting to fly away due to overweight, although Mr. Swiss has often told me I feed them too much. Invitations are sent from various neighbours and we all have a bird canteen in our gardens. Who needs to invited prominent people, they never really went hungry, their life was full of invitations for exclusive meals. My birds do not ask, they just wait patiently. 

“Hello Mrs. Human, we are back again.”

“Yes, same time every year.”


  1. I agree. I would much rather feed our feathered friends than already well-fed humans!!

    1. Actually it was a repeat again, and it just so happened that i was shopping with mr. Swiss and saw the bird food collection and then had my idea. I put the bird house in the garden this week and the birds have already emptied it twice.