Chickadee psalms

If I were a chickadee. . .

I’d be a classical chickadee. My nest entrance would be a perfect circle.

I’d be a Dutch chickadee. My nest would be lined with soft lichens, like old man’s beard. (Neatly placed, clean old man’s beard.) If I couldn’t find enough lichens, I’d use anything fine and soft. Something “pretty” would be nice. I’d use pink insulation if I could find it. If the young ones complained about the itch, I’d tell them it builds character.

I’d be a physically-fit chickadee. I’d practice quick stops and starts, hanging upside down from twigs, and flitting between branches.

I’d be a social justice chickadee. When I’d spot a pygmy owl, or sharp-shinned hawk in a tree – a safe tree with many twigs and branches – I’d mobilize a social justice committee and protest, protest, protest the aggressor.

I’d be an intelligent chickadee. My brain mass would actually grow towards winter to keep track of all the seeds I’d cache, preparing for a rainy, snowy or sleety day.

I’d be a greedy chickadee with Wall Street instincts. When I discovered some other chickadee’s cache of seeds, I’d remove a seed and put it to work, making for a vibrant sunflower seed economy. I’d invest others’ seeds for them.

I’d be a cautious chickadee. No matter how fit I was, I’d check six ways before flying across an open field, lawn or pavement. I’d teach my children to be scared silly of the following words: shrike, hawk, owl and cat.

I’d be a chickadee friend for landowners who aren’t too neat themselves. I’d write dee-dee-odes for landowners who mix shrubbery with lawn, woodlot with pasture, fence-line with crop field. I’d sing dee-dee-psalms for those who leave dead branches and stubs on their property. I’d thank human care-takers who do these things with a careful inspection of their living shrubs and trees. I’d remove (actually, I’d eat) aphid colonies and overwintering eggs for free.

I’d be a sunlight-activated chickadee. My pituitary gland would register the change of seasons and I’d get recharged. I’d start to sing spring’s-here on cold but bright January mornings. And I’d be a duplicitous chickadee, convincing my human neighbours that I was trying to cheer them up when it is really just my hormones pumping into chickadee-overdrive.

If I were a chickadee. . .

    I’d be. 


  • Curt Gesch

    Curt Gesch and his wife lead the singing via Zoom for a combined service of small United Church congregations in central B.C. each Sunday morning. In the afternoon, they lead a Friends and Family Zoom worship from their home. If you'd like to join that service, please write Curt at moc.liamg@36hcsegc.

You just read something for free. How can a small Canadian publication offer quality, award-winning content online with no paywall?

Because of the generosity of readers like you.

Be our


Just think about Vincent van Gogh, who only sold one painting in his lifetime. How did he keep going? Because of the support of his brother, Theo. And now over 900 exceptional Vincent van Gogh paintings are famous worldwide.

You can be our Theo.

As you read this, we’re hard at work on new content. Like Vincent, we’re trying to create something unique. Hope-filled, independent journalism feels just as urgent and just as unlikely as van Gogh’s bold brushstrokes. We need readers like you who believe in this work, and who provide us with the resources to do it. Enable us to pursue stories of renewal:

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *