The poem begins with the narrator noticing a bird coming down the sidewalk. The bird cuts a worm in two pieces and eats it. The bird then drinks water from the dew on the grass and casually moves out of the way of an oncoming beetle. The bird then becomes frightened; its eyes and head move rapidly. The narrator cautiously offers the bird a crumb, but the bird just opens his wings and, more graceful than a boat moving through water or a butterfly flying through the air, the bird flies away.