Whatever.   Let’s be honest.  Lots of books have these things and most readers skip them.  The authors justify why they spend so much time alone even though they have so many friends that it takes several pages to thank them all.  And the title of the section is a lie, no matter how you take it.  There is never a one, two, or three word.  It always starts at four.  It isn’t a four word section.  It’s a lot longer than that.  Or if it means forward, well I should hope so.  But that’s not what is usually going on.  Usually the book is done completely and the author is looking back on the experience.

      Not here.  Not now.  Not with me.  I’m writing this section first.  Without any real idea of what will happen or what it will take.  I mean, I have a general idea and we’ll get to that in a minute.  First off I want to set down some goals.  I don’t think people write things down without the expectation of an audience, so my first goal is to have an audience.  I think all writers hope to become famous and touch millions with their work.  The reality, I firmly believe, having done absolutely no research, is that most books that get written, taking years to write, get read by less than a hundred people.  So to start off I’m setting my goal at a hundred readers.  I realize that I might need to pay some of you to get to a hundred.  If you are one of those paid readers, make sure you read every chapter and do not skip to the end.  This book is going to be about me, so if I am paying you to read it, then I didn’t die.  So you should assume a happy and not very dramatic ending.  There is absolutely no reason to skip to the end.  Also, I probably had to scrape together the fee to pay you, and I want value for my money.  Read the whole damn book!  Don’t rip me off!

      That may have sounded a little harsh, so here’s an olive branch to anyone who feels that I was getting a little pushy.  I promise to set up an e-mail address, so that anyone who reads my book can send me a letter and I will email you back with the number of your reading.  So we can all count up to one hundred together.  I hope it doesn’t take too long.  As an added thank you for your time, I’ll also send you a picture of a bird that I have personally digiscoped.  “Digiscoped?” you ask?  That’s all coming soon -- I hope.  Christmas is in a couple of weeks and I’m counting on getting my first piece of equipment then.  Actually I have not been all that good the last few weeks, so I may be in trouble on this.  And “why a picture of a bird?” you might also ask.  Because that’s kind of what this story is going to be about.  It’s going to be about my first year as a birder, which is next year.  But in the nature of full disclosure, I currently still have a job and hope to continue in it.  And I have a wife and kids and hope to keep those as well.  And I started writing a completely different story.  And I need to go for a walk every day.  We will have to juggle around those things.  On the other hand, the Phillies and Eagles both really suck right now, which will mean I will save a lot of time by not watching them.

      To finish up this “foreword” (see I really did know how to spell it), I just need to give you the email address.  It is:  BirdsHaveBillsAndIR1@gmail.com.

      So that’s it for this section. I didn’t really thank anybody for helping me or supporting me.  That’s partly because you didn’t do anything yet.  But I can refer to some comments that some really good authors made in the forewords of their really good books.  Daniel Webster noted in the foreword for his ground- breaking dictionary that most of the people whom he wished to please when he started his book were already dead by the time he finished it.  Now that I write that, I have to admit that it isn’t as inspirational here as it was when Webster wrote it.  He was obviously a better writer and it sounded better the way he said it.  In the foreword to his great book the “Razor’s Edge”, W. Somerset Maugham admits that, although his story is basically true, he fudged some of the details to make the story more readable.  Okay, let’s do that.  I’m twenty-eight, very handsome, and run a four minute mile.  And let me quote from the preface of a truly great birder, David Allen Sibley -- “Birds are beautiful, in spectacular as well as subtle ways; their colors, shapes, actions, and sounds are among the most aesthetically pleasing in nature”.   (F1).  So keep reading and cut me some slack.  Remember this is just my first year as a birder.

"It was like this when I got here.  Really!!"  -- American Oystercatcher on Island Three of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel