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On a fake flock of birds at twilight

Kevin.Fai/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0 Deed   What I'm thinking about today: the moment at a live children's show I saw last weekend when a flock of birds flew by on stage, and the entire audience gasped. The stagecraft was not exceptional—three puppeteers with 4-5 bouncy poles apiece attached to their belts, each pole ending in a bird model. With the low lighting, though, we couldn't see the humans right away, and what did catch our collective attention was the lifelike sight of swallows darting at dusk. We couldn't help ourselves—we oohed in unison, reflexively—and hot tears sprang to my eyes, also a surprise. The first holiday season we spent in pandemic lockdown, I was decorating our Christmas tree and watching the movie musical White Christmas , as is my personal tradition. At the end of the movie, the main characters conclude their stage show for all their old Army buddies by opening the backstage doors to the outside and revealing a perfect Vermont snowfall, complete with

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