Updated: November 28, 2013 6:23AM
One of my relaxation things to do is to go to the lake and watch the ducks, geese and occasional heron or two fly and paddle around.
Of course, while I’m watching, I’m listening to a book on tape or sneaking glimpses at my current mystery.
I have never been a big fan of birds. I do wonder how they know where to go in the winter.
Simon James tells about us one little bird’s problem with this in “George Flies South.” We join George and his mother as winter is approaching.
George has still not learned to fly. Mom is insistent that he do this, but he is afraid he might fall. He likes his own nest best and he decides to stay.
We watch as the weather and the wind get worse, stronger and colder, until George and his nest break free.
George IS flying, he’s just still in his nest. We watch as the nest and its passenger move from place to place in the city.
Mom follows and the long trip begins. Mom continually tries to get George to fly.
They land on a beam of a new building to wait till morning. Morning brings a cat to visit and George takes off again, this time with a dissolving nest.
Now, with great effort, George gets his wings to work and he is really flying.
“Courage to Fly” by Troon Harrison brings another meaning to the phrase.
Meg is from the Caribbean, new to the huge city. She only feels safe in her small bedroom.
She runs home from school and refuses to play with a neighbor. One afternoon, on her way home, she meets an elderly Chinese man who is doing his exercises. She watches and enjoys his explanations.
Winter comes, and in the snow, she finds a bird, a swallow, very still.
Her mother says it isn’t dead, and Meg begins to care for the little bird. She refuses to give it up when it is ready.
She meets the Tai Chi man and asks him if the bird can stay in the box she has for it. He tells her the bird deserves the chance to be free.
She is joined by the neighbor girl, and together, they let the bird go. Meg realizes that she can be free as well.
Let’s meet some birds who can’t fly in “The Loopy Coop Hens,” brought to us by Janet Morgan Stoeke.
Midge, Pip and Dot live at Loopy Coop Farm and they want to fly.
They like Rooster Sam because he can fly. He won’t give them any tips on flying.
We watch them try and fail to make it up in the air. Then, there is Rooster Sam, on the top of the barn.
The girls realize they have never seen him fly up there. They decide to spy on him and copy his method.
They watch him walk to the back of the barn, hop into the truck, hop onto the hay stack, and then hop onto the roof.
They are disappointed but they still love their Rooster Sam.