So, no, “Freenbird” is not a reference to the song Freebird — I don’t even like the song Freebird.
If anything, it’s a reference to legendary Wrestling tag team the Fabulous Freebirds — who incidentally, apparently lived on a bad street that got worse the further down the block you got; and they lived in the last house on the right.
Quick sidebar: the Freebirds were fronted by Michael “P.S” Hayes, who currently works as a producer for WWE.
The “P.S.”, I believe, stands for “PlayStation’’…
Quick sidebar to the sidebar: the Freebirds are also the namesake of the “Freebird Rule” — simply put: if any pair of Wrestlers in a team with more than two members won tag team titles, then the entire team were considered champions and any pair of members could validly defend the titles.
Mostly, though, “freen” is really just the best onomatopoeia for a really annoying bird-noise I could come up with. I’m pretty sure I had the original inspiration for that at around the same time I started calling my little brother’s tuba (actually a baritone) a “skronking-tube”…
Though I am considered introducing a Wrestling team in Realmgard called the Freenbirds….
Also, that header image isn’t a great representation of my mental image of a Freenbird, but it’s a decent real-life equivalent to the kind of bird I’m imagining Freenbirds as.
“It’s a bird cage,” Lucia notes. “I — did we just get cheated out of our payment?”
“We did, didn’t we?”
She sighs again.
“I hate this city.”
Apolline reads the note affixed to the bird cage:
“In lieu of monetary emolument for services rendered, please accept this gift of a purebred Freenbird, the crowning achievement of the Freenbird breeders’ trade and representing the careful selection of several of finest Freenbird lineages now existing in Realmgard.”
She sets down the note and frowns.
“Well. That’s unexpected,” she says.
Lucia, Petra, Apolline, Alda, and Roland all look at the bird.
It’s got the bright, variegated colouration of a tropical bird and it’s about the size of a slimmed-down pigeon.
The bird looks back at them, curiously cocking its head and making a few perfunctory chirps and trills.
“Oh, wow!” Alda says, staring into the bird cage. “A purebred Freenbird like this is really valuable! Just getting one as a gift is amazing! That client must have really liked you. And been super, duper rich.”
“That’s something,” Petra offers. “But I’d rather get paid in money. We can’t eat him.”
“Well,” Lucia muses. “We could.”
“Lucia!” Alda gasps.
“What? I’m a cat!”
“And it’s her,” Alda notes.
“The bird,” Alda says, pointing to the cage. “She’s a her. See? Female Freenbirds have two long, blue tail feathers. The males have three short ones.”
“So,” Roland asks, peering into the cage. “Why are they called Freenbirds?”
Right on queue, the bird flutters up to the little perch hanging in the cage and looks right at them.
Lucia shudders at the piercing, high-pitched whine and resolves more than ever to just eat the thing.
Lucia, shoves her hands over her large, furry ears in an attempt to block out the terrible screeching noise.
“It’s horrible! Are we reconsidering the eating it angle yet?”
“Lucia!” Alda cries. “We cannot eat her!”
“I promise,” Lucia offers, “that I will not eat it. Within the next fifteen seconds.”
“I’m going to let her out of the cage,” Alda says.
She stares gravely at Lucia.
“But you have to promise won’t try to eat her, okay?”
Lucia doesn’t answer.
“Yeah. Fine. Whatever.”
Alda opens the cage. In a blur of bright feathers, the Freenbird flutters out of the cage, circles the room and promptly decides to roost right on top of Lucia’s head.
Lucia winces as she feels the bird tugging at her hair, then settling itself down once it was apparently got Lucia’s hair just the way it likes it.
“There’s a bird on your head,” Roland notes, pointing with a sausage-thick finger.
“Yeah,” Lucia mutters. “Thanks, Roland.”
She glances down at Alda.
“How do I get it off?”
“Well, Freenbirds like to be warm,” Alda answers. “So she probably wants to roost on, um, you because your hair is the warmest. We might be able to convince her to get off your head if we can build her an even warmer, more comfortable nest.”
“Hey, Lucia,” Roland says, struggling to get his words out through his giddy giggling. “Nice hat.”
Well, Lucia is stating the obvious solution…
And that’s Week Two of writing every day in March. I’ll be posting the weekly recap later tonight.
But, also, follow me here:
Sign-up for my email newsletter here.