March 2018 SOLC–Day 21
A huge thank you to Two Writing Teachers for all that they do to create an amazing community of writers and a safe, welcoming space to write, learn, share and grow.
Hope is the thing with feathers
Outside the flash of a bullet of fur on a deadly trajectory caught my eye.
I saw her land on four paws on the snowy bank beneath the feeders. My heart sank.
Did she get another bird?
I grabbed the door handle and raced outside.
“Juuuuniper,” I called.
She turned to look at me, and the two small bells at her neck jingled merrily. Two limp wings protruded from either side of her mouth. A fan of grey and white tail feathers covered her chin.
Oh, no! A little junco.
She glanced at me, then turned to walk away, her prize firmly clenched in her jaws.
“Juney,” I called, coming up behind her. She slowed a bit. “Come here, Juney girl.”
Take it slowly. Don’t spook her.
The wings and tail were ominously still, no flutter of feathers, no evident struggle.
“Come here, sweet kitty.” I crooned, approaching her slowly. Slowly.
She stopped and looked back at me. “Good girl,” I said, coming nearer. I knelt and reached out, as if to pet her. She leaned toward me, anticipating an affectionate rub. Quickly but gently, I grasped either side of her head. Inserting my fingers in the corners of her mouth, I pushed. She wriggled to get away, lean muscle under silken fur, but I held on.
Will it work? Is it already too late?
“Come on, Juney. Open up,” I sing-songed.
I continued to apply steady pressure, and her mouth slowly began to open. A moment passed. I pushed a little more, and finally, her jaw dropped open.
In a whirling flash, with a scatter of feathers, the junco soared into the afternoon sky. It flew toward the barn, wheeled around the corner and disappeared from sight. A miracle of flight and feathers.
My heart rebounded.