• The Gold Feather and the Bird

    by: Super Aelita

    My dog, Izzy, was sniffing in a bush. Then she wagged her tail and dove into the bush. She was jumping around, chasing something. Then she took off out of the bush with a gray thing in her mouth. I leaped at her leg, grabbed it, and reeled her in. The thing jumped out of her mouth and sped back into the bush. I scolded Izzy and carried her inside. Then I went to the bush to investigate. After pushing back a few branches and brambles, I found a tiny, gray, baby bird. It sat there, still and silent. That bird was smart, it was almost invisible like that! I raced inside and came back out with a little crumb of bread. I mashed it up and set it beside the bird. That way it wouldn't go hungry or anything. Overhead in a tree, the mother bird was squaking wildly. I looked at the bird one more time before going back inside. I was tempted to take a picture, but I couldn't bring myself to scare the living daylights out of the mother and child. So I just went back inside. Izzy was waiting for me there. I let her look out the screen door. She sat there, looking on. Watching. Waiting. The birds seemed to be scolding her more fiercely than I had. What looked like a mother and father sat on the branch above the house, silent at first, then bursting into an unbridled rage. Like bulls busting out of a farm and charging at a girl flashing her red sweater. Like a horse that was bucking its rider off its back. Like nothing you could ever imagine coming from a bird's throat. They swooped down and bounced on the branches. They screeched and cursed. They gave Izzy a lecture she wouldn't soon forget. Izzy retreated into the safety of her cage and peeked through the bars. Then she crept out and perched at the top of the back of the chair. She was at an angle so that she could peer through the screen door and avoid detection. She dozed off, only to be awakened a moment later by a familiar smell. She perked her ears and listened like a radar. Then she spotted them. There, in the front yard, were the family of birds. They were marching in a line. First the mother, then the father, then the baby, strutting happily behind them. I glanced over and nearly fell from my seat. Were they taunting us? Were they punishing us? Or were they just displaying their assortment of feathers? Whatever the reason was, I flung myself out that door, my heart pounding. The birds were gone! I scanned the trees. Still no birds. Were they hiding from me? Then I had an idea: the bush! As if on auto pilot, I made a beeline for the bushes and pushed through all the branches and brambles and leaves. I dug through the clay-like soil like a mad gopher. No birds. No mom. No dad. No baby. Not even a nest. The grass seemed to whisper, Look over there and you will find a trace of evidence!. Or maybe it only seemed that way. The sun shone through the leaves. I looked over and saw a beam of light revealing a sparkling golden feather. The effect was so stunning, so magical, so undescribable. I reached out and touched the feather. The wind fell silent and the air felt heavy. I slid the feather into my pocket and resolved to place it in my box of treasures. Oh, the unspeakable wonder of that pure, golden feather! As if it warded off all the troubles and evils of the world! Then I saw the one true trace of sure proof that this hadn't all been just a dream. Where the feather was lying, there was one more thing to be found: The crumb of bread with a small bird-sized bite taken out of it.