Daily Flash Fiction 9/27/21 W/C 299
Feathers lay everywhere. White, brown, even purple. Scattered all over the ground.
“What happened here? How’d you get in?”
Birds perched about, denuded of feathers. Some kid sat on the ground surrounded by feathers.
“Aren’t they pretty? I collected a few for my costume. Your security isn’t that great. I just picked the locks.”
“A few? You have more than a few, young man. At least twenty birds are in that tree over there. They’re all bald.”
“Twenty? Maybe more. The parrot was the hardest. It pinched me a time or two.” Gerald held out his arm, indicated a few large bruises.
“Yeah, well, I’ll pinch you a good one when we call your parents.” My wonderful birds, my charges, sitting in the tree, devoid of their protective feathers. This was an insult to their dignity. This aviary in the city zoo was my domain. The birds led a sheltered, pampered life thanks to me and my employees.
“Ah, c’mon. They’ll grow back.”
“Listen, buster. These little guys need their feathers to keep warm. They just can’t put on a coat like you or me. Plus the feathers help them fly. How are they going to get out of that tree? Huh? How are they going to get food and water while they wait for those feathers to grow back? Huh?”
At least now I had the kid hanging his head a little, perhaps he was sorry for what he did. I turned to find some hanging bird treats for the tree. In those few moments he flew to the top of the aviary’s tree. How had he pasted those collected feathers all over his body?
As I pondered this puzzle, he swooped me, flew around the aviary shouting, “Look at me! I’m Icarus! Catch me if you can!”