Bird Song

“Let him go!” Caroline yelled. Two boys were kneeling over a bird, as a third one held the poor creature roughly by its wings. “You’ll hurt it.” Caroline looked fearful for the bird.

“That’s the point.” The boys retorted with a chuckle.

Caroline reached down to pick up the largest rock she could find, and pitched it in the boys’ direction. Her projectile weapon, unfortunately fell 3 feet from its mark, and landed a few inches away from her feet.

The boys laughed loudly, “You throw like a girl!”

The tallest of the boys stood up and glared at Caroline. “Here, catch this!” He said as he sailed the now broken-winged bird at Caroline. The poor creature cried in pain, as its wings had been mangled. The boys ran off, laughing at their handy work.

Caroline bent down to gingerly scoop up the bird. The poor feathered soul was wriggling about, with a fearful look in its eyes. “Don’t worry,” Caroline whispered softly. She took a handkerchief from her pocket, made a sling, and carefully placed the bird inside the fabric transport.

Caroline walked as quickly as she could back to her house, careful not to jostle the bird around too much. She grabbed a shoe box, and filled it with soft cotton balls from the jar on the bathroom counter. She gently laid the bird down in its new resting place.

“Let me get you some water and food. That’s the least I can do.” She took a tiny sauce dish from the kitchen cabinet, filled it with water, and placed it in a corner of the box. She managed to find some sunflower seeds, as that was the only bird-friendly snack she could think of. Caroline was worried. She didn’t want the bird to die.

Caroline rushed over to the phone in the living room, and dialed the local veterinarian, but the line was busy. Panicked, she ran back over to the box. The poor bird was fast asleep, no doubt exhausted from its earlier ordeal. “I’ll be back. Please don’t die.” Caroline whispered tearfully.

If there was anyone who might have any advice on who to call or what to do, she figured it best to call Mr. Roberts. Mr. Roberts was a docent at the nature museum. He had bird feeders throughout his yard, and occasionally would drop in her science class at school. Caroline never knew there was so much information about birds, until hearing him speak. She figured he would know what to do,  and she wanted to do to help this bird.

After pouring over the phone book frantically, she eventually found the number for the nature museum. Caroline was able to reach Mr. Roberts,  just as he was  about to leave the museum for the day. She hurriedly spattered out her tale.

She told him about the boys, the bird, and the makeshift shoe box home. Mr. Roberts was moved by Caroline’s efforts, and admonished the needless cruelty of the boys. “That bird is fortunate that you came to its rescue. Don’t worry, I will make a call to the bird rescue. They can make a pick-up for your feathered friend in the morning.” Mr. Roberts assured Caroline.

She was relieved. Caroline ran over to peek over at the bird, who was still peacefully sleeping in the box. She said a little prayer, hoping that it would survive the night.

In the morning, the telephone rang. The Blackwell Bird Rescue Society called to make sure that a 10 am pick-up would be okay. Caroline checked on the bird, who now had its eyes open, and had made use of its water for a bath. “Yes,” Caroline said to the woman on the phone, “10 am will be just fine.” She smiled with relief, that her prayers had been answered.

10 am came, and an emerald van pulled up to her house. The driver announced their presence additionally, with the beep of the horn. The vehicle had a decal reading “Blackwell Bird Rescue Society” emblazoned on its side.

“I guess this is goodbye.” Caroline said wistfully. “I’m sorry, I never got to know your name. Hopefully, these good people can help you get better, so you can fly away. My name was Caroline. I hope you don’t forget me.” She looked at the bird in the shoe box. Curiously, it seemed as if it understood what she was saying, and replied with a short chirp and a wink.

Caroline walked the box with the bird to the driver in the van. She was a friendly bookish-looking lady, with lavender glasses and a red cardigan. “I’ll take it from here dear.” she said as she packed the box gently into the van. “You did beautifully. I’m sure we will get this little one back up and flying again, real soon. Don’t worry.”

Caroline stood watch as the driver got back into the car, and slowly drove away.



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Grit N Vinegar is the home of emerging writer, Alex Smith. Focusing on short stories, flash fiction, and poetry, Alex has been published in Sick Lit Magazine and often seeks out new places to submit her writing. Find me @gritNvinegar on Twitter!

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