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April's Cardinal Rules

He goes by Wolsey, Cardinal Wolsey to you. If you don't already know, he is a fixer, a negotiator and a consultant to birds in high places (and I'm not just talking trees). He's at the top of his game, but Wolsey is in the middle of an arduous turf war and this seems to be his hardest arbitration so far.

Louise: We don't really know each other, Cardinal Wolsey, but I am honored you wanted to use my blog to let folks know what's been going on in your world . I'm sure they've heard stories and seen that clip on the PBS Nightly News with Judy Woodcock about the terrible goings on in your habitat.

Cardinal Wolsey: .Well thank you for letting me air my frustrations about the pickle I've found myself in. And, by the way, you can call me C.W. All my friends do.

L: Can you give us a short explanation of this predicament?

CW: As you know, I have been involved in very delicate negotiations mediating a power struggle between warring birds. In my neck of the woods, we have always had an amenable relationship when it comes to bird species. The cardinals, blue jays, robins and titmice have always coexisted in a moderately peaceful manner. Sometimes the blue jays feel the need to push the rest of us around, but like most bullies, if you stand up to them, they leave you alone. Recently, however, a murder of crows and a parliament of owls have invaded our neighborhood and mayhem has ensued. They fight each other mercilessly and scare the hell out of the rest of us. I had been elected to try to negotiate a peace treaty between the warring sides.

L: How terrible! It sounds like West Side Story.

CW: Yes, but without Lenny Bernstein's beautiful score.

L: Have you had any success?

CW: There have been moments when I thought peace might be possible. I've talked to the crows and I find them very intelligent. But I don't find them especially reasonable. Intelligence doesn't necessarily equal fair-mindedness. The owls are also smart, but if you think they are wise, I haven't seen proof of it. The two groups just hate each other. Neither has any desire to get along . The atmosphere has been toxic and most of us are worn out by the constant bickering and episodes of unnerving violence.

L: This can't go on. Surely there must be some solution that will end this fighting.

CW: The one thing that possibly may work is talking to the young birds. I've been able to get through to a couple of sensitive owlets and crow chicks and though they know their elders hate each other, they have no idea why. If I can get them together in the same place away from their obstinate parents and have them tweet with each other, there might be hope. The vilification of each group to the other has been going on forever. It is inbred. If these young fledglings can break the pattern of hate, there is hope for a more pacific future.

L: Sounds like a good plan, but not a a quick solution.

CW: I know, but it's our only hope. The youngsters I spoke to are sensitive and sensible. And if they spread their message to other young birds, maybe something will start to happen. I can't believe all the adult owls and crows are happy with the fighting. Many seem as exhausted as the rest of us.

L: What if it doesn't work?

CW: We may have to migrate. I've been toying with the idea of a change anyway.

L: Does that mean you are going to retire?

CW: Well, I might just try another vocation.. I hear St. Francis of the Birds has an opening for a PR rep. I think I'd be a good fit.

L: I hope you can work out an agreement with the young birds. But if that fails, I wish you much luck and peace in whatever comes next. You are a good bird!

CW: Bless you!

That beautiful red bird flew majestically out of my window and out of my life. I hope we meet again sometime. I'd hate to see his brilliant mind and levelheadedness wasted as a public relations rep. But, to each his own. I, on the other paw, am rooting for the young birds.

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