The Journey of a Sunflower Seed
I was having a grand time soaking up the sun in an eye-catching field of yellow when I heard the grinding, rumbling roar of a combine...we were being harvested! An old ragweed plant...a-a-chew...had told me that would happen.
What would happen to me? I can't remember how long it took for we were picked, moved, sorted, moved again, packaged, more travel and now I find myself offered for sale in the bird food section of a grocery store.
Here comes an older couple, she's looking looking at the twenty-five bag I'm in. "Too expensive" she says and moves on. But her husband...looks like a real birder...examines the bag more closely noting the plump, round firm shapes of all of us and says, "let's buy it."
So more travel to their home and now I'm among thousands of my fellow seeds occupying a squirrel proof feeder...HA! We have many visitors including house finches, juncos and chickadees. The latter bids are so discriminating...one seed carefully selected, removed to a tree limb and then eaten. Well, it's my time and I'm going to be selected by my favorite bird, a chickadee. "So long gang," I call out as I'm being swooped away. What a life experience for I'm ending up in the crop of a really neat bird. We all have to go sometime and I'll help form the bone and body of my favorite bird.
WHOA! Something really big is happening! My chickadee has been caught by one of those swift, shifty chicken hawks, a sharpshin I believe. And I never had time to give my bird an energy boost.
Hey, it's dusk out and my hawk is going to roost for night. I can just feel his stomach juices starting to work on my outer covering.
WHOOPS! Something big is happening again. My hawk has been grabbed in the talons of a screech owl one of those silent killer of the night. Snatched off his perch, my hawk has been swiftly wrestled to the snow and killed. The owl has just ripped out of the crop and gizzard of my sharpshin.
But that's all he'll eat, for a gent has just stopped in a car. His headlights picked up the body of the hawk in the snow. I understand he's a wildlife biologist so he'll want to take a close look at my former home.
What a day! As for me, I now live in the digestive system of a screech owl. My only hope is that the owl will fly over a field and by discharging my remains, I'll add a tad of fertilizer for next years sunflower crop. So long folks!
STORY TIME WITH KENT OLSON A Collection of Wildlife Short Stories