Mr. Chalcy Owl, a great horned owl and a banker, wrote a check for hoot laryngitis research while perched in the tree hollow. “I do everything I can. It may not be in time for my sister’s throat, but it will help many who can’t hoot in the future.”
“You are the most generous bird in all the forest.” Rex Robin, his assistant chirped.
Blinking his rounded eye, the banker gave his assistant guidelines on nest loans before he left on vacation. “To have money to donate, I have to make money. No excuses for missed mortgage payments.”
Over the next weeks, Rex Robin ignored the many pleas from crows, swallows, woodpeckers, and nuthatches begging for extensions on their nest mortgages. Following his instructions, he dropped foreclosure letters at the nests that had not caught up by the fall of acorns.
At the next full moon, Rex Robin awoke to a aggrieved sound. It was Mr. Owl’s brother-in-law, Clarence. “There must be some mistake,” Clarence hooted. “My wife, your boss’s sister, is being treated for laryngitis. It takes all our money. We have to have more time to pay our mortgage.”
“I’m sorry. Mr. Owl gave me strict orders,” Rex Robin answered. “Besides, Mr. Chalcy Owl donates generously to laryngitis research, which might cure your wife one day.”
Talons crossed, hoping for a distant promise, is an empty gift today.