As Canadians attempted to process the horrible news that one of the Snowbird planes had crashed over Kamloops, birds across the nation were seen engaging in an unusual flying formation. One in which they appeared to be leaving a space, for a missing fellow aviator.
“Whether your craft is powered by kerosene or grass,” said a large Canada goose, resting on the shores of Lake Huron after completing a flock-wide flyby, “and can go 300 knots or 30, we are all, in our ways, creatures of the air. And we know what it is to lose a member mid-flight. I’m sorry, is what I’m trying to say.”
A duck on a medium-sized pond in Nova Scotia agreed.
“For heavy-boned mammals with no feathers and severely under-sized wings, you people sure can fly. I heard those Snowbirds were trying to inspire you guys, after all of that time away from your flock that you’ve been having to spend. Brave thing that. Brave indeed. The least we ducks can do is put on a quiet air show of our own, to remember your lost flyer.”
The sun reached low, on a quiet Sunday in a lonely May. Across the country, millions of people who had, in happier times, stood shoulder to shoulder in the congregating spaces of this place to watch the red-and-white planes streak across clear skies, took in the awful news that one of those planes had fallen. And the birds flew, missing one.