The decoy and the bird (Deleted stories)
She was the most beautiful girl bird he had ever seen, with bright blue and yellow feathers and a perfectly proportioned little beak, perched upon the branch of a sycamore and whistling a lovely, melodious air.
Happily, the little boy bird flew down and perched next to her.
“How do you do?”, he asked, “Lovely spring day isn’t it?”.
But the little girl bird made no reply, only looking straight ahead and continuing to whistle her pretty tune.
“That’s odd. Perhaps she just hasn’t noticed me”, he thought and so he moved a little closer to her and said again, in his brightest and friendliest voice, “How are things going with you, Miss?”.
Still, the girl bird did not respond, only looking straight ahead and continuing to sing her song.
And yet the boy bird did not feel insulted.
Instead, he thought that perhaps a different approach might work; perhaps a gift for the girl, and so he flew down and, using his beak, pulled up a little white and yellow daisy that he then carried back up to the branch of the tree and, holding the stem within his beak, he tried to offer it to the girl bird but it was difficult to speak with the stem in his mouth.
However, the girl just wasn’t interested in his gift. In fact, she didn’t even turn to look at it but kept on ignoring him.
But the girl bird was so pretty to the boy bird that he just couldn’t give up; he had dreams of them spending their lives together, building a nest and raising a family.
“I know”, he thought, “I’ll sing her a love song. That is bound to make her like me”.
And so, the little boy bird puffed out his chest and sang the loveliest and prettiest love song that he could think of.
Still, the little girl bird did not respond and just kept looking straight ahead.
“Oh?”, thought the little boy bird sadly, “Perhaps she didn’t like my song”.
But it also occurred to him that she might have some ailment that meant she couldn’t hear
and he wondered if he could still love a bird that was deaf, yet, looking at her again, although his dream of their life together altered slightly, it was still a happy dream.
“Even if you cannot hear”, he thought, “I will still love you. It may be a little harder surviving but we’ll manage somehow”.
And so, believing the girl bird to be deaf, he tried to fly in front of her, to attract her attention with his bright feathers and some fancy aerobatics.
But, though the girl bird was looking straight at him, she didn’t seem to notice him at all.
“Could it be that she is blind as well?”, he wondered.
Then it started to rain and he noticed that the girl bird was not flying away or trying to get out of the rain.
“Poor girl bird”, he thought, “Her fathers will get completely soaked in this rain”.
However, then the boy bird had a great idea and, pecking down a large leaf from the tree, he held it over both their heads like an umbrella so that the rain fell on the leaf instead of them.
But then, when the rain had passed, a hunter came into the forest and, looking at the two birds sitting in the tree, laughed and said, “My pretty little decoy has done well. That other bird will be easy to shoot if it only holds still”.
Seeing the hunter raise his bow and arrow, the little boy bird was startled and shouted to the girl bird, “A hunter! Quickly! Fly away! Fly away!”.
But the girl bird, because she was nothing more than a hunter’s decoy, didn’t move, even when the boy bird tried to nudge her and yet he just couldn’t bear the thought of flying away and leaving her to be killed and so, instead, he tried to move himself in front of her to shield her from the hunters arrow.
And, so still did the bird sit in the tree as it shielded the decoy, that it was easy for the hunter to shoot it through the heart.
Then the poor boy bird fell out of the tree with a sad cry, landing at the hunters feet.
However, as the boy bird was dying, he looked up at the decoy and suddenly, she seemed to move and be alive and look down at him with loving eyes and then, his vision fading, the little boy bird drifted off into a dream of a bright, magical garden and a tree full of happy singing birds and, in this garden, there were no hunters or animals that preyed upon birds and, waiting for him, upon one of the branches of that tree was his little girl bird, the decoy, come to life.