The Brave Buzzard

Another beautiful evening at the lake watching the Turkey Buzzards tear apart an enormous dead carp on the beach. The largest Buzzard stands on top of the carp and doesn’t let the other buzzards have a bite. They attempt to sneak a piece, but he screams and flaps his wings in warning. They back off. They wait. It’s a very big carp, certainly that one Buzzard can’t eat the whole thing, so I watch to see how and when the rest of the pack will have a turn. The one buzzard fills up and can’t eat anymore. He flies off. Second Buzzard jumps on the carp, again he fights off his buddies, and won’t share. He fills up and flies off. Third Buzzard, still left with a decent amount of dead fish, starts in. He takes on the tail end, and allows two other Buzzards to join him. All except one little Buzzard. He still sits to the side biding his time. I feel so sad for him. A distant boat roars its motor and all the buzzards fly off, all except the rejected one. He is clueless- I guess he doesn’t hear the boat, or maybe he hears the boat but is so interested in the fish that he takes his chances. He is the courageous buzzard. He now has the entire fish to himself. The boat makes more noise. The little buzzard glaces up, but continues his nibbling. He is eating a huge fish without interference. I consider that he is so hungry that he is going to chance it, but he takes his time, eats and eats- must be filling up, but still, new noises and threats do not deter him. Yes, he is not a stupid buzzard or a particularly starved buzzard. He is the Brave Buzzard! He ends up with the most fish, and eats without angst. Of course, he could be a she, I can’t concern myself with sex as I watch this sweet buzzard, the most rejected buzzard, lowest rung on the ladder, bottom of the pecking order buzzard, enjoy his/her exquisite beach front dining experience. In this case, courage trumped brawn. The big wig buzzard had flown off with the others. Big wig or not, he still left the dinner table in fright. It is possible that the “courageous” buzzard who stayed on was simply slow, maybe deaf- or understood on some level that the boat noise was not an safety issue. I choose to believe that I was able to witness the beauty of a brave buzzard receiving his due! Sweetly, a couple of his friends returned to the scene and my brave buzzard shared his bounty graciously. Oh, I see…he/she was more than brave or dumb-(often the same thing?) – no, my new buzzard hero was an Advanced Buzzard- an enlightened, compassionate, generous buzzard. Let me ponder this lesson.

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