The Tiny Bird
Amber sat in the garden convalescing. She had been ill for quite some time now and the consultant said that she needed complete rest if she wanted to get better again. It was a warm spring day. She sat back in the sun lounger with a light blanket over her legs and chest and observed nature all around her.
Spring bulbs had popped up out of barren swathes of earth, bobbing their flowers heads in the gentle breeze. The grass was lush and verdant due to months of rainfall. At last Amber could see light at the end of the tunnel after seasons of poor health and hopelessness. Her eyes became heavy as she contemplated her surroundings and she drifted off into slumber.
With a start, Amber awoke. She felt something on the bottom half of her leg. Perched on her big toe was the teeniest tiny bird she had ever seen. How strange and yet how beautiful. It was about as big as her baby finger and iridescent black in colour as though it had been brushed with stardust. The little bird danced about on Amber's legs before flitting up to the nearest bush where it became hidden by the leaves. She smiled at this welcome intervention before drifting off to sleep once more.
Amber stirred as she listened to the most tuneful birdsong. She looked up towards the apple tree where she could just about see the tiny bird nestled among the fragrant pink blossom. It was though it was singing 'follow me, follow me, follow me'. She mustered up all her strength to stretch out her arm in the direction of the tiny bird before slumping back into her seat with exhaustion.
Amber's Mum had begun to worry. Each day her daughter insisted on sitting out in the garden to be with the tiny bird. Amber recalled the antics that it had been up to even though her mum had never seen this mysterious bird. Even in a rainstorm Amber was adamant that she wanted to be close to her new companion.
The spring and the summer became distant memories as the trees began to change into their autumn wardrobe. The lawn now sun scorched gave in to the change of season. Amber lay back in the sun lounger. She now had a thicker blanket over her legs to ward off the autumn dampness. The sun was lower in the sky now and the days became increasingly shorter.
One day in October Amber felt the best she had for a long time. Tiny bird was livelier than usual and it flew from tree to bush to ground to tree. Amber chased her friend around the garden and from time to time it would fly down and sit on her shoulder or even on top of her head. She became dizzy as she was led in a figure of eight shape around the lawn. The tiny bird became more and more animated and almost frenzied before it soared up at hyper speed towards a hold in the clouds. Amber fell to the ground.
When her Mum discovered Amber's body her spirit had already left. Her Mum knew that her daughter's condition was terminal but was not really prepared for the day her daughter would leave. As she cradled Amber in her arms she felt something brush against her hand. It was a tiny iridescent feather that looked as though it had been brushed with stardust.
Simone Whipp 2007