Once again, today’s one-liner comes to you courtesy of friend and fellow writer (also artist and archaeologist) Dora Abel, who just comes out with this shit without working at it.
It’s easy to see where today’s story is heading, so just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Lost and Found, Bird Edition
by Marian Allen
Shoshanna stopped talking about how much she missed Bibi. It was obvious that nobody understood how she could miss a bird as much as a “normal person” would miss a dog. It’s not like a bird is a companion animal, with feelings and such. She could see it flicker across their faces, even as their kindness prompted them to genuine sympathy for her pain.
But Bibi was a companion animal. She did have feelings and thoughts and likes and dislikes, and she didn’t just repeat phrases, she conversed. Her human talk was a little limited, but it was a hell of a lot better than any human’s African Grey Parrot.
Bibi had belonged to Shoshanna’s father. Shoshanna and Bibi had grown up together, had mourned Shoshanna’s father’s death together, had grown old together.
“That bird’s going to live forever!” Shoshanna’s one disastrous fling had said.
Deal with it! was Bibi’s reply. When Shoshanna laughed, he walked out and never came back.
Buh-bye, Felicia, Bibi said, and Shoshanna was content to live with only her bird girlfriend for company.
Not that she didn’t have human friends. Shoshanna worked and went to church and talked to people at random and gathered friends like the sea gathers water. Her extended family loved her. Women liked her. Men and children liked her. Dogs and cats liked her, and one of her human friends swore that her son’s goldfish was more lively when Shoshanna came for supper.
But Bibi was her companion.
Then, when Shoshanna was seventy and Bibi was an incredible sixty, there was a horribly quiet morning, and Shoshanna found Bibi still and silent on the floor.
Her thousands of online connections and all her family and f2f friends offered their condolences and fairly quickly moved on, the family commiserating longer, since they understood that losing Bibi was like losing Daddy again. But it was just a bird, after all.
Shoshanna buried Bibi in the garden. When she came back in, she found a tail feather Bibi had shed, and a handful of down that had gravitated to the perch’s tray. Shoshanna put the feather with the fluff and cried herself sick.
Her friends worried about Shoshanna’s not being able to “shake off” her sorrow. Her best friend persuaded her to go on a gentle hike through a nearby gorge, and was pleased to see grief finally tempered with a little freshness and pleasure.
They enjoyed the spectacular views, when the vista opened up, and the tiny wildflowers when the rocks and trees surrounded them. It was fall, and their path was paved with leaves so brilliant it seemed a shame to walk on them. One was a particularly vivid red, and Shoshanna picked it up.
“Why, it’s a feather!”
“Better leave it,” her friend said. “It’s probably got lice.”
“The lice are still on the bird,” Shoshanna said, “or off looking for another bird to hop on.”
“Still better leave it. I think it’s illegal to take feathers.”
“Off the ground? I understand it being illegal to pluck feathers, but birds lose them naturally all the time, Shoshanna said.
“A feather is just a bird leaf.”
“Whatever floats your boat,” her friend said, and Shoshanna tucked the feather into her pocket.
When they got back to Shoshanna’s house, they had coffee and cake and talked and laughed for hours.
Shoshanna found the scarlet feather when she changed for bed. She took it to Bibi’s room and put it with Bibi’s feather and fluff.
She awoke to a somewhat nasal voice shouting, Rise and shine, sleepyhead!
“That’s a new one,” she thought. “I wonder where she heard that.”
Then she remembered Bibi was gone.
She ran into Bibi’s room in her bare feet, her loose hair bobbing around her shoulders.
It wasn’t Bibi. This parrot was a vibrant red, smaller than Bibi, with a bright orange beak. A female Echlectus, she knew, from her life-long fascination with parrots.
“Where on earth did you come from?” she said.
Wouldn’t you like to know.
Shoshanna laughed. “I guess you flew in when I went out back and I didn’t notice. I guess I’ll have to advertise for your owner.
The bird stretched her neck like a periscope and whistled You were meant for me … and I was meant for you….
“Yes, but I have to go through the motions.”
You do you, Boo.
“Since I probably won’t find your owner, I’ll have to think of a name for you.”
Kirana’s a pretty bird.
“Kirana? Is your name Kirana?”
Hello, everybody! My name’s Kirana, what’s yours?
“Well, Kirana, I’d better get some breakfast for you. Do you like mangoes?”
You know it, girlfriend!
And they lived happily ever after.
This post is part of Linda G. Hills weekly blog hop, One-Liner Wednesday. If you have a one-liner or just like them, follow the link.
MY PROMPT TODAY: Dora’s line.