The Landlord

Dear Mr. and Mrs. Finch,

Congratulations on your two children learning to fly. As agreed, I provided free food for them to keep you from the welfare rolls. There is just one problem. You left a dirty nest in your condo loft, with poop hanging off it like smashed marshmallows. Additionally, my black car is doused with finch poop. Please note: If you don’t clean up the mess, there will be no nest lease next year. (Say “no nest lease next” five times fast.)

As for your sister and brother-in-law, Mrs. Finch, who have taken occupancy in yet another rental property above my car, and are building a nest, please advise them to keep the neighborhood clean. Also, though the young lovers perch on my shoulders and chirp at me like I was a grandpa, I will not finch sit. I am immune to cute.

Dear Mr. Red-tail Skink,

I have your lease ready to sign, for the small hole in my Kentucky coffee tree where you presently reside on a week-to-week basis. As agreed, I have lowered your rent in return for you acting as my pest control agent. I must advise you, sunning yourself on the hole’s rim is risky. A red-tail hawk frequently lands in that tree. The landlord does not assume responsibility if you choose to act like a reckless teenager. Speaking of which, this yard is a smoke free environment. Please smoke in the field across the highway.

Dear Carolina Wren Kid,

You rich punk rock wretch. You must stop singing loudly and bothering your neighbors immediately. We are not amused by your leaving wren porn pictures hanging from your nest. The Robins overheard you boasting that you have slept with over 1,000 wren-girls. Shame on you. This yard is not a brothel. Please advise those rouge-cheeked harlots of yours that they may not stand in the driveway and ask if anyone wants a “date.”

Dear Ms. Mockingbird,

The whole neighborhood knows that you are a music major at Southern Illinois University Aviary (SIUA). How could we not know? That you sing all the voice parts rather frenziedly, reveals you to be that diva we’d all like to kill. We have received complaints from the following unions: Crows, whippoorwills, starlings, red-winged blackbirds and white-capped sparrows.

You may like “La Traviata” at 4 am in the morning; the rest of us do not. Madam, take your “Violeta Valery” elsewhere, or I will call the authorities. The reviews are in. “Ms. Mockingbird lacks depth and vocal range.” Bird World “Her cadenzas scared my pussy.” Cat Fancy Magazine “The opera was over the minute that fat mockingbird sang.” Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

So, mock-mock-mock on heaven’s door somewhere else, or else!

Dear Fuzzy Cute Widdow Bunny Wabbit,

Get the fuck off my property.


Your Landlord

About Eugene Jones Baldwin

I am a writer: non-fiction, fiction, journalism (Alton Telegraph), essays (The Genehouse Chronicles) and have a website: I've published a couple dozen short stories and had eleven plays produced. Current projects: "Brother of the Stones" (available on Kindle), a book of short stories; "The Faithful Husband of the Rain, short stories"; "A Black Soldier's Letters Home, WWII,;" "There is No Color in Justice," a commentary on racism; "Ratkillers," a new play. I am an avocational archaeologist and I take parts of my collection of several thousand Indian artifacts (personal finds) to schools, nature centers, libraries etc. and talk about the 20,000 year history of The First people in Illinois. (See link to website) I'm also a playwright (eleven plays produced), musician, historian (authority on the Underground Railroad in Illinois, the Tuskegee Airmen) and teacher.
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