The cats, lambs, calves, goats, and groundhogs were holding auditions for the woodland orchestra and everyone was excited. They’d invited the whole forest and nearby river and mountain animals to come to make music with them. By the end of the afternoon, they had filled all of the positions except for one and the most important, the job of the maestro. No one seemed to understand the music well enough to conduct and no one had the ability to hold a baton properly so the cats became disillusioned that they would never be able to host a proper performance.
Just when they had given up and considered calling off the woodland orchestra, a black vulture circled overhead. The groundhogs wanted to leave; they figured the vulture was a bad omen for the endeavor and completely opted out of participating and scurried away. The calves mooed at the vulture to look for food elsewhere, emphasizing that everyone on the ground was alive and well and a talented musician and holding auditions, and therefore the vulture was a disruption. The vulture landed on a branch and stated that the magnificent music was the reason he had come by. He’d heard from the rabbits the auditions were today and he was ecstatic for a chance to be the conductor for their woodland orchestra. As a migratory creature, he’d traveled all over and studied music with the greats around the country and if they would permit him to lead them in an opening sonata for his audition they would believe in his skills and musical interpretations. He was humbled and bowed and presented a baton with both of his wings spread out so wide that the goats couldn’t see past them. He had even suggested that they move the remaining auditions and performances closer to the caves where the acoustics were better and could be heard farther and draw more attention to the shows.
Everyone deserves a chance the lambs bleated to the goats and even added perhaps if he is any good, we can convince the groundhogs to come back and play with us!
No no, you don’t understand, you absolutely must move the show and the auditions right now, the black vulture stated, over to the area by the caves! It’ll be better there, I promise, come with me, let me show you! It will be glorious!
The rabbits talk too much said the cats, no one will feel safe if they see a black vulture! A black vulture means danger! Even if he is brilliant no one will come to our concerts if they are conducted by a black vulture, a black vulture is bad news! We’ll never be able to sell this orchestra with a black vulture at the helm! Its complete and utter nonsense and evidently a trick! Everybody knows black vultures are not to be trusted, they’ll kill our kids! They’ll chase and hunt us, that is just what they do! He’s trying to uproot us because there are probably dozens of black vultures over in those stupid caves just waiting to kill and eat us all! Fuck this! We’re not dumb and we will never agree to this audition and if you all do then like the groundhogs we are out, we do not want to be associated with a black vulture, period!
The vulture was saddened as this was expected on some level and just flew away without so much as a goodbye or any sort of self-defense.
Good riddance meowed the cats. The ground started shaking violently. The creatures all scattered terrified of what could be happening. Humans were coming to level this part of the woods in order to build something or another and had no intention of leaving any part of the area habitable for the animals. Many of the would-be performers for the orchestra died that day. The creek nearby the caves bubbled quietly as the wind rustled the encircling trees
and the faint noise of the fleet of rumbling demolition trucks
and the buzzing of wood chippers
sounded a little bit like
Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique…
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