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The Feathered Friend

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Sarai sat at the desk in her home office and idly braided her long, dark hair. She was at a loss to explain her mood. Through the window, Sarai looked at all the bright tulips and other spring flowers in the garden. She knew they would cheer her up and shift her thoughts to more happy ones.

A lone chickadee appeared on the windowsill. Known to be friendly birds, chickadees oftentimes chirped comments to people. Sarai opened the window and called out to the bird.

“Hi there, chickadee. What’s happening in your world today?” The bird had been scared when the window opened and flew away, but now it came back.

“Chickadee, dee, dee,” it said. Its head turned this way and that as if looking for food.

“You have a rough life, don’t you?” Sarai said. “Having to always search for food and in the winter find a warm place to stay. Do you ever get tired of it?”

The chickadee flew upwards and then down again. This one was shy, but she loved it nevertheless. She couldn’t explain it, but it seemed to understand her.

“I’m coming out, bird. But be patient. I’m moving very slowly these days,” Sarai said. She turned her wheelchair toward the door in her office and made the wheelchair move. Sarai directed it down the ramp to the bottom floor and out the door.

Sarai leaned over to grasp the bag of birdseed on the front porch. She tossed a big handful of seed onto the cement around her. She waited for the birds to fly to the seed. Her expectation was immense. Her joy multiplied in minutes.

Two blue jays showed up but left. Corn and sunflower seeds are what they were after. Sarai hoped at least the sparrows would come, and of course, her chickadee friend.

Soon a multitude of sparrows came for the seed and devoured it in minutes. The chickadee didn’t come back.

Sarai concluded she was a shy person, but she could still talk to people—that is, if someone came over to visit or called on the phone.

Now the chickadee came back. This time it landed on the armrest of the wheelchair. Sarai tried not to make any sudden movements.

“I’m sorry I don’t have the right food for you,” Sarai said.

The chickadee chirped an answer and looked up at her.

“Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you. Thank you for visiting with me today,” Sarai said.

The woman and bird seemed to have forged a friendship. Sarai thought maybe the chickadee enjoyed the tulips, too. The two of them were silent for a bit, then the chickadee flew up to Sarai’s shoulder and remained there. Slowly, Sarai turned her head to see the chickadee. Its tiny eyelids were closed, and its breathing was even.

The chickadee woke from its nap and flew away. Sarai was sad at first, but she knew better days were ahead. She had made a friend today.

Sometimes a friend can make all the difference in the world.

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