Walking slowly through grasses – a bit sick, weak, under-fed, with a sore belly – I saw two little birds, then a third. They were hopping, fluttering among the grass. Stopping to reach up and peck at the seeds that overhung from some of the grass stalks, hanging in downy seed-tassels.
One paused, switched sides around its stalk, let out two high-pitched, sweet-sounding alerts. I guess because I was coming. Then paused again. Another one flew up towards me, and about four feet in front of me in the air, performed a brilliant mid-air pirouette, banking amid a neat flurry of its fine feathers, which I caught in a flash – the precision of it – and was off toward a nearby tree where at once it perched and glanced at me, then away, then at me again.
Another of the birds followed suit, to a different tree, and finally the third one did the same.
I walked past, through the grasses where they had been. They kept stealing glances at me as I went. Then, after the disturbance of my passing, after letting a few minutes go by, allowing the disturbance to fully disappear from the air, very likely they settled again to their work among the grasses.