Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

A MAN AND HIS BIRD

A MAN AND HIS BIRD…

               I watched the man as I waited patiently for the L bus to bring me home from an overnight visit with Jessica in Longmont. Being a conscientious commuter, I sat on the bench in front of the designated loading spot for the bus. The man was large, looked to be about 30 or so, and paced back and forth behind the bus stop shelter. I watched him out of the corner of my eye, waiting for him to swoop in when the bus pulled up and butt in line. I really am a stickler for bus protocol, and it really angers me when people just strut all around the bus stop, then jump in front of those who patiently waited in line.

               The man eventually tired of pacing and came to sit on the bench across from me. He was holding something very carefully in his hands. I looked closer and saw that he was cradling a small sculpture. About six inches around, it was a piece of driftwood with a tiny yellow and green ceramic bird perched on it, and was decorated with flowers and greenery. He held it as if it were made of gold, and I felt compelled to compliment him on his trinket.

               “That’s pretty,” I said. He smiled really big and stammered a bit when he responded.

               “Thank you. It was an expensive bird,” he said, stroking the fake bird from head to tail. “It cost me fifteen dollars.”

               “Well, it makes me happy to look at so I guess it was worth it.” He smiled again and I realized he was perhaps not the sharpest tool in the shed. His clothes were clean, and he chose his words carefully, and I couldn’t help by smile myself as he told me the story of his bird.

               “I liked this bird because he sings.” He pushed a button and the bird’s beak began moving and his tail flitting about as a chirping sound came from the trinket. “And look, he comes off the log, so if I don’t want to take him out with this, I can just take him off and put him in my pocket.” He plucked the tiny bird off the perch to demonstrate how easily he could remove it. He stroked it lovingly before putting it back on the perch.

               “Well that’s definitely work it then,” I said.

               “Yeah, there used to be a bigger bird on this stick, but I don’t like him as much so I leave him at home usually.” I raved about his bird and how pretty the set up was, and he was obviously proud of his plastic pet. After a few minutes his voice got serious.

               “I worry about this little bird though.”

               “Oh, how so?” I asked.

               “I worry that he’ll get picked on. I’m worried he’ll get bullied by people.” His concern showed in his eyes.

               “Why would anybody pick on him?” I asked.

               “Because he’s MY friend. Sometimes people are not nice to me, and I worry they will be mean to him too.”

               Luckily the short bus showed up and the big man jumped up with his bird to catch his ride. I sat at the bus stop, crying behind my sunglasses, and hoping that nobody would be mean to the little bird today…

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August 21, 2013 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Just stumbled upon your blog but wanted to comment on the story. Powerful little piece here. . .

    Comment by Chocolate Covered Race Medals | August 21, 2013 | Reply


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