A Trickster Tale with Roots in America, the West Indies and Africa
Was a time, these two breathed the same air. Only, Wren sat his chattering self on the fence rail. And Bruh Buzzard, he soared way high in the sky.
Each could see the other.
Wren could look up and see the buzzard shape against the blue. “Like he’s floating in a pool, “ Wren thought.
Keen eyed Buzzard could look below from a great height. There he saw Bruh Wren, hard by the meadow, near the fence corner. “No bigger than a mouse, Him!” the Buzzard thought.
For true, both knew how to fly. It was just that the wren flew lower, and the buzzard flew higher.
And one day, Bruh Buzzard thought he’d have some fun. He came swooping down to set himself on the fence rail beside Bruh Wren. Scared Bruh Wren half to death at first. But soon, he got used to the mighty wingspan and bald head of Bruh Buzzard. Big him, he was like some heavy shadow come spread over the small likes of Wren.
“You know what?” Bruh Buzzard spoke in a deep, slow squawk.
“Say what?” asked Bruh Wren.
“We are both the same. Except, I’m great big, and you are way little.”
“Tell me something I don’t know!” chirred Wren.
“Then listen,” the buzzard said. “I can do something you can’t.”
“What’s that?” asked Bruh Wren.
“I can fly so high, you can barely tell me from a cloud. And you can’t do that.”
“You think I can’t?” trilled Bruh Wren.
“I know you can’t!” hissed Bruh Buzzard.
“All right, Bruh Buzzard. Suppose we have a race!” ticked the wren.
“All right!” the buzzard exclaimed. “Now remember, you have to go as high as I go.”
“How could I forget?”
At once Bruh Wren, small as he was, gave out with his ringing, tinkling melody. It was long and beautiful, and the buzzard envied the sound of it.
But not to be outdone, Bruh Buzzard made a show of spreading his massive wings.
“You with me, Little Bit?” he asked Bruh Wren, over his shoulder. Couldn’t see the little bruh, what with his wings all wide and dark.
“Oh, I’m right with you!” Bruh Wren answered, and so he was. Just as Bruh Buzzard had opened his great wings to fly, Wren sprang up to rest lightly in the hollow of the Buzzard’s back.
Bruh Wren went right with him! They soared!
“Where are you, Bruh?” the buzzard hissed in the air.
“Way high up! I’m right here Bruh! Wren called. “Keep going!”
Higher and higher Bruh Buzzard went. His wingtips almost skimmed the sky. Bruh Wren tried to touch the blue but couldn’t quite reach it
“I-yee! I-yee!” called the Bruh Buzzard “Bruh Wren, I can’t see you!”
“I – yee! That’s cause I’m right above you now, “trilled the wren. “Come up here with me!”
“No, no not today,” said Bruh Buzzard, afraid the little Bruh’s wings might get worn out. “We best go back down.”
“But it’s so nice, flying in and out of the clouds,” said Bruh Wren.
They sailed comfortably down to the ground. At once, Bruh Wren hopped off his buzzard ride. The two mismatches settled on the corner rail.
Buzzard said, “Bruh? Why is it you never go flying higher than this fence? You can fly as me.”
Bruh Wren went, “tic-chir-tic,” the wrens have a mind to do. “If I told you that, you’d know as much as me!” And he gushed a bright, jokey song, as only he knew how to do.
Bruh Buzzard hunched his shoulders. He wondered about it all: yet and still, he kept his hooked beak shut.