It was a baby bird
We put it in a box and we gave it a first name
We called him Billy Bird
After our favorite outlaw
Though we knew this was no game
He died a simple death, just before Dad got home
I didn't cry but my brother sobbed
We dug a tiny hole out in the summer clay by the Aspen grove
We made a tiny cross out of sticks and grass to mark the shallow grave
I asked my Mom, "so what happens next?"
"Well, first we're gonna pray... and then he stays here and we go home."
I'd just turned 12 years old. My brother was 18
We'd been driving for two days
Dad made comedic quips, while mother bit her lip
And they even tolerated our punk band's demo tape
All my brother's crap was piled up in back
And the way he rambled on I could tell that he was nervous
We saw the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon
And even wrestled till the front desk called in Vegas
Then we drove silently into the city and a campus made of stone
When we unloaded his stuff, Dad was sad but tough
He said "don't forget how to use the phone."
Then he stayed there and we went home
You cut down the tree, turn the tree into wood
Turn the wood into ash, make that ash into mud
You turn that mud into clay, and that clay into stone
Then you carve out a hole and you call it a home
Then the belly gets all big and round and family comes from out of town
You plant a tree to make it all true so when the wind comes whistling through
It goes "ahoohoohooh"