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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Bird Lessons is an inspirational short story written by Noah Letner. The narrator was teetering on the edge of madness due to sleep deprivation. A mockingbird had come to serenade him three weeks prior, and the nightly torment continued unabated. Endlessly, the bird would cycle its patched-together medley of songs taken from the four corners of the world, and all he could do was lie there and wait until the mockingbird had finished. But then, as the day began to dawn, the redbird would take his place and ensure that the yawning human drowsily peering out at him was ready to begin his day. His work had suffered mightily as a result of the avian intervention that had been ongoing for so long. Oddly, too, he seemed to realize that he had more or less been asleep for most of his life. Somehow, all his dreams and aspirations had been set aside in favor of a dull and monotonous sleepwalker's existence. He began to listen to what the mockingbird had to say, realizing with a start that he could actually understand what the garrulous bird was saying. The redbird also had some wisdom for him, as well as the birds at the park he began to haunt during his waking hours. Change was afoot.
Noah Letner's inspirational short story, Bird Lessons, will garner nods of recognition from the many who have suffered the attention of the courting mockingbird. As I read, my mind instantly began recreating the intricate patterns of the mockingbird that would appear outside my window each spring. I'm also a birder and delighted in the narrator's recognition of the new and splendid world he had overlooked for most of his life. Letner's story is a marvelous parable that might just change lives if those who read it are capable of the courage such transitions require. This lyrical and engaging story had me considering minute alterations in my own lifestyle, and that's a good thing indeed. Bird Lessons is thought-provoking and a welcome respite from the torpor and somnolence that afflicts most modern lives. It's highly recommended.