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"Birds of a Feather"
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Publisher:Gold Key Comics
Series:The Twilight Zone (Gold Key)
Issue:Vol. 1, No. 3 (10016-305)
Pages:9 pages
Editor:
Writer:
Penciler:Mike Sekowsky
Inker:Mike Peppe
Colorist:
Letterer:Ben Oda
Cover Credits:
Cover Date:May, 1963
Genre:Occult
Based On:N/A
Reprinted In:
  • Mystery Comics Digest #06 (August 1972)
Previous Story:"The Last Battle"
Next Story:"The Queen is Dead--Long Live the Queen"

"Birds of a Feather" was a story printed in the third issue of The Twilight Zone comic published by Gold Key Comics.

Miss Twilby was an aged secretary with a terrible job, working for an overbearing, harsh and demanding boss, J. B. Grunch. Grunch was a man in a constant rush and never appreciated Twilby's hard work. Luckily for her, she would soon find herself presented with a new job opportunity—one with a boss that is much different!

Story details

Cast of characters

Lead characters

  • J.B. Grunch
  • Narrator
  • Miss Twilby
  • Waldo

Minor characters

  • Charlie
  • female office workers (6)
  • male office workers (4)
  • pigeon-lovers (4)

Opening narration

"Hard-driving J.B. Grunch, president of Grunch Products, keeps after his employees like a hawk. But sometimes even a hawk will find itself in trouble when, as in the old adage, 'Birds of a feather flock together.'"

Story summary

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The secretary greets her boss

Miss Twilby was secretary to a crass, demanding boss named J.B. Grunch, president of Grunch Products. One day when beckoned into her boss' office, birds kept fluttering outside the open window, breaking Grunch's concentration. Miss Twilby offered to help to shoo the birds and her boss agreed so long as she hurried. The matronly secretary went to the window sill and calmly explained to the pigeons that they had to leave because Mr. Grunch was becoming very annoyed. The situation seemed settled but Grunch was certain is wasn't. He knew the birds would be back because he was convinvced that someone was luring the birds to his office in an intentional attempt to agrivate him! Grunch demanded his secretary take a memo: "Anyone caught feeding pigeons on the window ledges will be fired."

The office workers were amused by the memo. They began to joke and laugh at their boss' paranoid theories when Grunch launched into the room and ordered them back to work.

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The unwanted visitors

The next morning, Miss Twilby arrived even earlier than usual so that she could feed the birds from Grunch's office window just as she had been doing in the past. Unknown to her, she was not the only early arrival that day. Mr. Grunch had staked out his office, hoping to catch the culprit in the act. Now he had! The startled secretary started to explain but the gruff man told her not to bother. He got rid of the birds first and then gave the tearful woman her two weeks notice, refusing again to let her explain. Despite all of her diligent and exceptional work for the company, she had disobeyed Mr. Grunch and Mr. Grunch would not be disobeyed.

The secretary was still expected to do her job and at the end of the work day was even instructed that she and the boss would be staying late to catch up on work that had piled up due to the bird business. The woman was not disappointed by the news, but in fact, she was rather oddly pleased. Later that evening, however, the boss could not find his worker anywhere after returning from having his dinner. Regardless, he headed to his office and upon opening the door was accosted by birds! His entire office was full of the creatures! The shocked man watched as his chair turned around and in it sat the elder Miss Twilby, surrounded by various sorts of pigeons!

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Miss Twilby takes control

Grunch demanded answers. His employee simply explained that the birds were her friends and that they had chosen her to be their spokesman in the world of humans! The birds and Twilby had decided that Mr. Grunch had been very cruel to the birds, herself and everyone else for that matter. They had teamed up and gathered in the man's office to make sure that he would change his behavior. This made him quite nervous and he tried to excuse himself but the birds stopped him before he reached the door! They dragged Grunch to a chair and held him there. That was when Miss Twilby began to better explain the situation. It all led back to that morning's events. When he had attempted to chase the birds away from his window, he had struck one of the birds with his cane, breaking its wing. She went on to say that in minor cases of cruelty, she and the birds had been able to convert the offenders into becoming bird-lovers with a simple conversation. In Grunch's case, words had not worked.
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Grunch's encounter with Waldo

That was when Miss Twilby and her winged friend Waldo had decided that drastic measures were required. With a sly smile, she tells Grunch that afterward he will never harm another pigeon again.

On the following morning, an office worker brought in the mail to Mr. Grunch and was surprised to see his contemptible employer gleefully feeding the birds out his window. He was even overheard referring to one of the pigeons by name—Waldo. He quickly shared this fact with his co-workers and the curious news spread like wildfire. Oddly, Miss Twilby had not been seen all day.

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The office eavesdroppers

That changed at five o'clock, when the office workers noticed her enter Mr. Grunch's office, announcing that it was time for his lesson. One of the men went to talk to the secretary, but was again unable to find her at her desk. One of the other men observed that she had not left the boss' office. The two recalled that the old man would sometimes leave his intercom to Miss Twilby's desk turned on and decided to see if they could eavesdrop. They were in luck, they could hear everything going on in the office. Strangely, all they heard was cooing! Overcome by curiousity, the men barged into the office to see what was really happening inside. All they found were pigeons! The only sign of Grunch and Twilby were their glasses, left on the president's desk. They both were nearsighted. Even if they had managed to leave somehow, the men wondered why they would have left their glasses. Bewildered but tired at the end of the work day, the two workers chased the two pigeons from Grunch's window sill, closed the window and went home.

Closing narration

"Two nearsighted people disappear and leave their glasses behind. Coincidence? Perhaps. On the other hand, have you ever seen pigeons wearing glasses?"

Notes and annotations

  • The title of the story comes from the popular proverb "Birds of a feather flock together," referring to the tendency of birds with the same kind of feathers to primarily associate with one another, within the same species. Applied to people, it means that similar people are attracted to one another.

Technical information

Creative crew

  • Mike Sekowsky - Penciler
  • Mike Peppe - Inker
  • Ben Oda - Letterer

Production companies

Technical specs

  • Originally published in color
  • Printed on newsprint, 9 pages
  • Reprinted in Mystery Comics Digest 06

Notes and references

References

External links

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