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by Betty Castleberry
8/08/2007 / Short Stories
A primal instinct awakened Feather. She opened one eye and saw the eastern sky splashed with orange. "Get up, Jay. We've overslept."
"Time to get up."
Jay didn't respond. "Come on, sweetheart. Wake up. I've got a lot of shopping to do."
Jay stretched his wings. "Okay."
The winged couple flew from their cozy nest and landed on a high wire. Finally wide awake, Jay greeted the morning with happy chatter.
Feather gave Jay a peck on the cheek, and flew off. Her first stop was Mrs. Maples' feeder. It was one stop shopping here. Seeds and nuts were always plentiful. Feather perched on the edge of the feeder, enjoying her repast. A substantial breakfast was important for a day of scouting. She would be shopping the neighborhood for new feeding places, and report back to Jay in the evening.
Something on the ground caught her attention. A slinky black shadow crept beneath the feeder. Feather saw a long tail and whiskers, and her tiny heart beat wildly. She flew into a nearby tree.
Still feeling unsettled, she stole a last glance at the predator before leaving the leafy sanctuary. As she took off, rain began to fall. Thunder rolled overhead and lightening slashed around her.
Her wings beat furiously into the wind, and she knew she needed to seek shelter. She found refuge in a hydrangea bush. When the storm abated, the bright golden orb reappeared, this time settling much higher in the sky.
Feather flew off again, and spied an open meadow. She landed along a creek bed and ventured into the tall grasses. With her beak to the ground, she picked her way through the soil. Jackpot! There was an abundance of wiggly, crawly things. Jay would be proud of her. She couldn't wait to share the news with him. This place was definitely going on her list.
Feather retraced her steps and took a long drink from the creek. The water looked inviting. She stepped into the shallow stream and flapped her wings enthusiastically, flinging tiny droplets everywhere. She twittered with delight at the refreshing feel of the water.
Feather took flight again, and landed in the city park. It was usually a good place to shop. She often found bits and crumbs of bread and chips near the picnic tables. A little boy spotted her and ran in her direction, stretching chubby hands out to her. Feather was afraid of the hands, so she flew to the other side of the park.
She stopped where several tasty morsels were scattered about. There would be plenty to take home to Jay. A bun was lying on the ground, just waiting for her.
Feather was picking off small bits of the bun when a crow swooped down and shouted at her in a raspy voice. "That's mine, Cupcake."
"I found it first."
"Yeah, well, I'm bigger than you." He picked up the bun and flew off.
Feather shook her head at his rudeness, but knew she would still find plenty to eat.
By this time, the sun was beginning to sink. Feather needed to start home, but she felt a yearning deep within her. She had a strong urge to gather something to line her nest.
On the way home, she stopped at Mrs. Maples again, but not to visit her feeder. This time she was shopping for something soft. She found some dryer lint under the vent at the back of Mrs. Maples house, and proudly carried it back to her nest. Jay was there waiting for her.
"Glad you made it home safely. How was your day?"
"Good. You know, Jay, I was frightened a couple of times today, but I still knew I would be all right. I felt as if someone was protecting me. All day long, I had the distinct impression someone cares about me. Not only that, but I found a new place to shop. It's going to be a wonderful place to get food. I can't quite explain it, but I'm not sure I found it on my own."
"I've felt that way, too. I think somebody does care for us. We've never gone hungry, have we?
"Say, why do you have that lint?"
"Because I need something soft for the nest."
Jay tilted his head and looked at her curiously. "Honey, do you mean?"
Jay puffed out his chest and burst into song.
~ Matt 6:26: "Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?" KJV
Copyright 2006 Betty Castleberry
~The author is a retired-early-by-choice RN who lives in Texas with her husband and three parrots. She has a daughter, step daughter, and five grandchildren. She is a published author, and loves to write for the Lord. Email her @
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