Wednesday, February 3, 2010

the bird

She was walking down Main Street in Ellicott City, the quiet part of Main Street, before all the shops and restaurants. It was summertime, but it felt more like fall. She didn’t mind; the breeze was soothing as she strolled by the historic homes, marveling at each one’s undeniable character. It was really a beautiful day, pleasing and calm.

She noticed a small bird standing in the middle of the street. A wren, perhaps, she really didn’t know much about birds. She noticed the green leaves of the surrounding trees, the purple petals speckling the ground beneath. She was thinking of upcoming travel plans and picturing herself packing her new suitcase. She was thinking about how it would be to travel by herself. She was a little anxious, but mostly excited.

She noticed the bird again. He was still in the same spot, standing in the middle of the road. A car went by, its left tires so close to the tiny creature, yet the bird did not move. What a gutsy animal, she thought. Then, another car drove by, this time the car moved right over the bird, tires on both sides, tunneling the bird in darkness. As the car passed, she could see that the bird remained stuck to his spot. She realized then that the bird was not brave, but rather injured. She watched another bird of the same size fly down onto the street and hop, hop, hop over to the unmoving bird. She could tell the bird was trying to help, but then another car came by, and the bird that could fly had to fly away. She watched the hurt bird, again unable to save itself, endure the haunting dark space under the passing vehicle.

She wanted so badly to save it, to scoop it up in her hands, find some food, bring it to an animal rescue shelter. She wanted so badly to help the bird, but she kept walking. Her legs took her down Main Street to the vibrant storefronts and chatty passersby.

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