A boy sits and watches the river flow, only this is a river of birds--countless starlings, maybe grackles--that comprise the Black Sky River. Noisy and full of droppings, the birds eat the bitter (read poison) seeds cast by the citizenry, and the mighty torrent during migration is reduced to a trickle. Cacophonous and filthy the birds were, perhaps, but the boy misses ""the mystery, the wondering of things without beginning, without end."" As a man, he tells his son that maybe one day they will again witness the Black Sky River. Among other worthy sentiments, Seymour (I Love My Buzzard, 1994, etc.) offers a mostly gentle ecological plea for letting things be, although the use of the ""bitter seed"" will seem, to contemporary children, like a form of murder. Andreasen's mournful paintings, fusing Norman Rockwell and John Constable, complement the melancholy air of the story.