For the Birds Radio Program: Sneakers's Excellent Adventure (Placeholder)

Original Air Date: Sept. 25, 1991

Today we hear the continuing saga of a lost little Blue Jay. 3:47

Audio missing


One morning two weeks ago, life in the Erickson house was especially hectic. The house was being remodeled, and there was no kitchen for making breakfasts or lunches. The dad, who had been badly burned a few days before, had to get to the hospital for his morning treatment, and the children were late for school. So when the mother discovered that her little Blue Jay Sneakers had flown out a window opening in the addition, she didn’t have time to call him in. She wasn’t worried—she knew Sneakers knew his way home.

A few hours later, when she got home and things were not so hectic, she went out and whistled for Sneakers. She whistled and called, but he didn’t come. Many times before, Sneakers had gone away for an hour or so, so she wasn’t too worried. She called on and off all day, but still he didn’t come. So she started searching the neighborhood for him, but he was gone.

At 2:00, she went to Lakeside School to pick up her children. The teachers there told her about a little Blue Jay who had flown in through the windows that morning into the kindergarten class and then into a first grade class. But no one had seen him at the school since lunchtime. Nest she went to her friend Jim Lodahl’s day care center to see if Sneakers had visited the children there, too. Sure enough, he had. Jim told her that a dog had chased him away maybe an hour before. She called and whistled, but by that time, Sneakers was in the midst of another adventure. He had seen a friendly little kid and flown down for a visit. This little boy was pretty surprised when a wild Blue Jay landed right on his arm. The bird looked hungry, so he fed it some bread. The bird stuck around and was so friendly that the boy decided it must be lost. So he put it in a box to bring home for a pet. Sneakers checked out the boy’s Legos and Hot Wheels—his favorite toys—but then the boy put him back in th ebox. Sneakers doesn’t like boxes—they’re dark—so he squawked and squawked. The kid’s mom said the bird was too noisy and he had to let it go.

By this time it was almost dark outside, and to make things worse, it was starting to rain. Sneakers was hungry and lonely, and worst of all, he couldn’t do anything about it because he was scared to fly in the dark. He hunkered down in a tree, shivering, and waited till morning.

Tommy and Katie and Joey Erickson cried themselves to sleep that night. They thought they would never see their little Blue Jay again. And even their mom was anxious, hoping a migrating hawk hadn’t taken a “Snickers break.” She got up at first light and stood on the porch whistling. But there was no answer. It was still raining a little when she sadly closed the door to start making lunches. She heard a Blue Jay call, but when she went out to check, it was only a neighborhood regular, yelling for her to fill the feeder. As she carried out a bucket of sunflower seeds, suddenly she heard Sneaker’s familiar yell. He flew to the front porch and squawked and squawked until the whole neighborhood knew just how angry and happy and relieved and exhausted and wet he was. He pigged out on dog food and Froot Loops and then took a long nap.

He was too pooped to explain all the details of his big adventure, but we have it on good authority that he’s planning to write a book someday. Let’s just hope birdies write kinder, gentler chronicles than Kitty Kellys do.