In the blackcherry tree, three hatchlings hobbled around in a small “straw hat” of a nest. Wobbley, with their eyes opened now for the first time they could see the clear dark night, stars, a line of darkness where mountains lay far off. A cloud obscured the full moon. A dark spot grew suddenly bigger and the hatchlings were startled.

         There was weight and warmth suddenly from the Big One. The hatchlings didn’t know the meaning of coming from a mother. They didn’t know anymore that the shells that were broken that they fell on or stepped on was just a week ago their previous world. There in a sea of imagination.

      In those eggs unbroken, they were alive. Having spent time feeding on the yolk inside, more than wet, inundated with fluid, not breathing air, alien. They were alien, sensitive and unknowingly spinning a bit within their eggs as a daylight summer gust would blow and the leaves of the nest branch would respond like a sail. The nest was on a pliable branch. So they were programmed by the sway, even unborn.

   
            Brightness, blue sky, and one morning Our Hatchling looked up and there were no other hatchlings. Our Hatchling now, we will call her, “Thrift”, she is being pushed by the Big One. Big One has two eyes like the juicy pips of a blackberry they received days ago. Big One had one round eye. But Big One’s other eye was burst like the berry’s pip.

      It was sad but the mother bird had been attacked in the night. She was almost home and was in the tree when a human shot a bb at her. It hit the mother bird by chance in the eye and through it into the front centers of her brain. She managed, and it was just that morning, to flutter around the tree, being repeatedly shot at again another 12 times, one hitting her wing, which really stung.

      The child found something else to do and maybe lived on to think about that day. Every so often memory would whisper, “You shot a bird, but it didn’t die.” The truth is it died in the nest and decomposed there and fell into the bushes when the windstorm that Winter blew it away. There were bird bones in the street. Noone would know. Bird bones turned to dust carried down the street slowly with rain to settle and stay scattered. God knows the scattered burial of all his creatures no matter how scattered or big or small they are. Human, too.

     So Thrift was pushed to the edge of the nest, barely feathered, and cried, “ii”… “iiii!”. The mother, The Big One, who fought tooth and nail to fly one-eyed into HER nest MADE it, and with only primal programming to de-nest her hatchlings EARLY had one more to go. But the hatchling was unusually resistant.

         The Big One began to slow down and quiver a little. Thrift drew near The Big One. The mother had certainly done everything she thought of to do. Now she was actually conceding to the fact that Her Thrift was nice company. Thrift chirped and drew near to the wounded face. The mother’s nervous system had been in a horrendous state of shock and she felt there was a bad thing happening. Something that was very bad.

         The mother was dying. Her Thrift nuzzled in. The mother heard Thrift chirping. It sounded like the good thing deep inside. Mother grew sleepy. The chirpping sounded like Mother’s “Big One”. But it was thrift. “Big One!”, spoke the dying bird, “I’m so cold. Make me warm again.” And the mother bird did not awake.

         Thrift stayed for a day. Hungry. Thrift ate ants. It wasn’t sufficing. So Thrift went out onto the branch. She lifted her wings. A gust of wind tore through the tree, not enough to lift the nest. But thift was gone! It was a crazy flight. It looked okay at first. A guy driving down the street saw Thrift flop through the air and into a bush (landing safely). “What the HECK was THAT!”, the guy thought. And he drove on. And Thrift, he lived on.

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