In the forest, the days were beginning to get shorter. The birds sought their nests earlier every day. The sun shone almost every day but rain fell as well. Leaves on the hardwoods were turning yellow. Fall was coming.
Midas felt the change coming and he was eager to amass more wealth before the snows of winter would deter the tourists from inhabiting the campsite.
As soon as it was light the next morning, Midas flew down from his lofty home in search of Munro.
Sparrow-Girl had suggested that Munro follow his heart. To do that, Munro would have to refuse to have anything more to do with a bird that destroyed another bird’s unborn family.
During the night Munro thought long and hard. He decided to play along with Midas and hoped that Thunderbird would pay him another visit to advise him. When Sparrow-Girl came back, as she promised, he would ask her how to get in touch with Thunderbird.
Megan was still dozing, hidden away in a pine tree near Munro’s new nest. Munro had heard her once in the night winging through the branches for her nightly feed. He hoped she would come back and he was glad to see her in the morning when he stretched his wings to greet the new day. He looked up at her now as she stirred a little bit, lifting one claw and then putting it back down around her sitting branch.
“Good Morning, Megan,” he said in a gentle voice.
Megan opened one eye. “Indeed”, she said and then closed it. Munro got the hint.
She needed her daytime rest. He decided to try to talk to her later in the day.
Midas thrashed around in the underbrush looking for Munro.
“Here I am, Midas, stop making so much noise!” said Munro hopping over to the ferns where he used to live. “What do you want?”
Midas was surprised at this speech. Was this really timid Munro or some other bird?
“Well, aren’t you cocky? I guess my offer of payment has made you bolder. Good thing too. Now we can really be partners.”
Don’t count on it, Munro thought. He pretended to embark upon Midas’ mission but he only flew a few meters.
Munro napped in the warm afternoon sunshine filtering through the tree branches, He was on the alert. however, and came fully awake when he heard a rustling in a shrub nearby. A white-crowned sparrow called a cheerful “hello” and hopped over to Munro.
“Where’s Megan?” Sparrow-Girl asked, looking around with her bright eyes.
“Still sleeping up there but she’ll wake up soon to go hunting.”
“You’re already learning about the habits of others,” Sparrow-Girl praised him.
“Good habits and bad habits and maybe just some in between,” observed Munro.
“I have an idea,” she said, “but I think we should consult Thunderbird about it.”
A soft “woooo hoooo” came from the branch above them.
“Ah, there you are, Megan,” greeted Sparrow-Girl, “ How are you today?”
“Sad, sad, “ grieved Megan, “I’ve been so lonely and hoped for the company of my children soon. I haven’t seen another of my kind for weeks.”
“There’s a lot of that lonely feeling going around,”said Munro, “I’m sorry for your loss but I’m glad I made your acquaintance.”
“Friends are important,”agreed Sparrow-Girl, dreamily, “ I wonder...”
“You probably have hundreds of friends”, said Munro.
“Megan needs the big trees too,” said Sparrow-Girl, changing the subject, “something has to be done.”
When Sparrow-Girl had changed back to a thirteen-year-old girl and had slipped away among the trees back to the town, Munro found a hiding place and ate his supper of pine cone seeds.
Megan stretched and flew off in search of hers.
Just as shadows started to appear in the forest and the air started to cool, Munro began to anticipate the visit from Thunderbird. He hoped the gigantic creature could find him in his new nest several meters from his old place.
Megan started to move a bit on her perch above him. She stretched out a spotted wing and uncurled her claws one by one.
“Megan,” Munro began, looking up at his new friend, “ I am going to have a special visitor tonight. Do you want to stick around?”
“Why?” the owl asked, opening one eye.
“Thunderbird is about the most amazing creature you’ll ever see!” said Munro, his usually timid voice rising in enthusiasm.
“Why?” Megan asked again, opening the other eye and fixing the dove with a yellow stare.
“I think he’s some kind of magical bird. Sparrow-Girl knows him and her grandfather is a First Nations elder. Maybe he’s a kind of god, a being that has never died from long ago or something.” Munro was stumbling as he tried to explain.
“Well, “said Megan, “I’m not too hungry tonight. Maybe I’ll stick around and meet this Thunderbird.”
Munro did a little clumsy dance. “You won’t be sorry, Megan. He’s wonderful.”