Canary

I apologize for my absence from the world of blogging. 

 Last Friday, my grandmother passed away. 

 I dedicate this short story to my grandmother.

There once was a little girl named Sara.  She lived in an apartment building in Manhattan overlooking Central Park.  Her mother was busy with social engagements while her father worked many hours as a pilot. During the war, Sara’s father flew commercial jets for the military transporting soldiers to the battlefield in the Middle East.

One day two pristine dressed military men arrived at the apartment.  Sara’s mother sat solemnly in the living room talking to the two men decorated with ribbons and medals pinned to their chest. Sara was curious, but she stayed in her room till the men left.

Over the course of the following week Sara attended her father’s funeral, assisted her mother with packing all their belongings and moved from New York City to a small cabin in the Rockie Mountains of Colorado.  The house had no internet, no cable or satellite television and no telephone except for her mother’s cell phone.  It was summer time so Sara spent most of her time coloring or playing with her dolls, but she missed her father, her friends and looking out her old bedroom window watching Central Park.  New York City glistened with lights, sidewalks were full of people and streets are adorned with rows of traffic.  Now, in the mountains Sara was feeling incredibly lonely without her father, the quietness of her mother and her new view from her cabin window.

One day from Sara’s window she watched humming birds dance around the flowers.  Attracted by the small birds Sara went outside to play near the rocks of the Colorado River.  She tossed rocks into the water, chased a frog and watched birds play.   As Sara was getting up to walk back home, something glistening in the grass caught her attention.  She walked over to the object.  It was a very small bird egg.  It was partially covered by broken pieces of what looked like a bird’s nest.  Sara looked around for a mother bird.  There was no sign.  It was getting late so Sara picked up the little bird egg and gently wrapped it in some leaves to carry it home.  She showed the small egg to her mother.  Together they  made a small home for the egg in an old shoe box.  They borrowed a heat lamp from the veterinarian to shine on the small abandoned egg.  Sara and her mother were  now busy taking care of the small egg. One day they noticed the egg beginning to hatch.  The next morning a baby bird was born.  Sara and her mother fed the bird with food drops from the local veterinarian.

Before long the small baby bird began to walk in the box.  Sara and her mother bought an antique bird-cage from the flea market to make as his new home.

“Momma, the bird’s feathers are turning yellow.”

“Let me see.  Hmmm, they do look rather yellow compared to the gray they used to be. I’m still not certain what kind of bird it is, but in time we will know.”

Over the following days the baby bird grew more and more yellow feathers.  “Momma, I think the bird is a Canary.”

“Sara, I don’t think Canaries are native to Colorado.”

“Can I name it?”

“Sure.”

“I’m wanna name it Lemon Drop.”

“That is a very odd name.”

“I know, but It’s yellow feathers remind me of daddy’s favorite candy, lemon drops. Will that make you sad?”

“No honey, I think Lemon Drop will be fine.”

Lemon Drop grew in to a strong beautiful Canary.  Through out the year, Lemon Drop sang songs,  talked, and perched on her Sara’s shoulders.  Lemon Drop brought joy back in to Sara and her mother’s life. The two of them were once again happy.

The following fall, Sara went to bed with the window open.  A rain storm with gusting winds blew into her room chilling Lemon Drop.  The next morning he had a cold. Lemon Drop sat at the bottom of his cage looking ill instead of singing, talking or perching. All day long he did not eat or drink. Sara and her mother took Lemon Drop to the veterinarian.  She prescribed him medicine drops.  The following days Sara and her mother gave the medicine to Lemon Drop, but his health was not improving.

“Momma, is Lemon Drop going to leave us like daddy did?”

“Sara, daddy did not leave us.  He passed away.”

“I don’t want Lemon Drop to pass away. I miss daddy.  I’m going to miss Lemon Drop.”

“Lemon Drop is not going to leave us.”

“Then where is he going?”

“Lemon Drop is going to shed his wings for larger wings. His new wings will be so grand he will fly above the clouds and among the stars and back down to us.”

“But, I won’t get to hear his song.”

“If you listen closely you will hear his song among the whistling winds.”

“But, I won’t get to feel the warmth of him perched on my shoulders and the tickles of his feathers on my neck.”

“If you go outside the rays of the sun is the warm touch of his love.”

“Momma, I’m going to miss Lemon Drop like I miss daddy.”

“Sara, Lemon Drop might be fine.  Give the medicine time to do its work.  Your daddy never left us.  Your daddy like Lemon Drop has grown wings to soar the sky and stars.  His love is in the warm touch of the sun’s rays.  Daddy’s voice is scrambled in the winds.  Daddy never left us, he ascended. He is above us.  Daddy is here and will always be here for you.  Let’s go to bed.  Tomorrow Lemon Drop may feel much better.”

The next morning, Sara woke up to find Lemon Drop perched on his swing singing.