The sound came like nails on a chalkboard, and the crow hopped forward, wings open aggressively, toward the new arrival. Only its aggressive action kept the other, smaller, birds from fleeing at once.

Sauntering in, the squirrel nodded at the birds. “How ya doin’?” it said. “I hear you’ve been having problems with a feeder.”

“Yes,” the finch began. “Those cardinals–”

“Look, I don’t care about your petty little squabbles, all right?” the squirrel said. “I’ve got a proposition for you. And I think you’re gonna like it.”

“You!” the cardinal fumed. “Your propositions all involve gorging yourself until you’re so fat that you fall off the feeder!”

“Maybe,” the squirrel said. “But what if I tell you that, after I’ve had my fill, you can all do the same?”

“We’re listening,” the crow said, warily. “What do you propose?”

“Easy,” the squirrel said. “We knock the feeder down.”

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