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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Shopping (03/01/07)

TITLE: Winging It
By Betty Castleberry


A primal instinct awakened Feather. She opened one eye and saw the eastern sky splashed with orange. “Get up, Jay. We’ve overslept.”


“Time to get up.”

Jay didn’t respond. “Come on, sweetheart. Wake up. I’ve got a lot of shopping to do.”

Jay stretched his wings. “Okay.”

The winged couple flew from their cozy nest and landed on a high wire. Finally wide awake, Jay greeted the morning with happy chatter.

Feather gave Jay a peck on the cheek, and flew off. Her first stop was Mrs. Maples' feeder. It was one stop shopping here. Seeds and nuts were always plentiful. Feather perched on the edge of the feeder, enjoying her repast. A substantial breakfast was important for a day of scouting. She would be shopping the neighborhood for new feeding places, and report back to Jay in the evening.

Something on the ground caught her attention. A slinky black shadow crept beneath the feeder. Feather saw a long tail and whiskers, and her tiny heart beat wildly. She flew into a nearby tree.

Still feeling unsettled, she stole a last glance at the predator before leaving the leafy sanctuary. As she took off, rain began to fall. Thunder rolled overhead and lightening slashed around her.
Her wings beat furiously into the wind, and she knew she needed to seek shelter. She found refuge in a hydrangea bush. When the storm abated, the bright golden orb reappeared, this time settling much higher in the sky.

Feather flew off again, and spied an open meadow. She landed along a creek bed and ventured into the tall grasses. With her beak to the ground, she picked her way through the soil. Jackpot! There was an abundance of wiggly, crawly things. Jay would be proud of her. She couldn’t wait to share the news with him. This place was definitely going on her list.

Feather retraced her steps and took a long drink from the creek. The water looked inviting. She stepped into the shallow stream and flapped her wings enthusiastically, flinging tiny droplets everywhere. She twittered with delight at the refreshing feel of the water.

Feather took flight again, and landed in the city park. It was usually a good place to shop. She often found bits and crumbs of bread and chips near the picnic tables. A little boy spotted her and ran in her direction, stretching chubby hands out to her. Feather was afraid of the hands, so she flew to the other side of the park.

She stopped where several tasty morsels were scattered about. There would be plenty to take home to Jay. A bun was lying on the ground, just waiting for her.

Feather was picking off small bits of the bun when a crow swooped down and shouted at her in a raspy voice. “That’s mine, Cupcake.”

“I found it first.”

“Yeah, well, I’m bigger than you.” He picked up the bun and flew off.

Feather shook her head at his rudeness, but knew she would still find plenty to eat.

By this time, the sun was beginning to sink. Feather needed to start home, but she felt a yearning deep within her. She had a strong urge to gather something to line her nest.

On the way home, she stopped at Mrs. Maples again, but not to visit her feeder. This time she was shopping for something soft. She found some dryer lint under the vent at the back of Mrs. Maples house, and proudly carried it back to her nest. Jay was there waiting for her.

“Glad you made it home safely. How was your day?”

“Good. You know, Jay, I was frightened a couple of times today, but I still knew I would be all right. I felt as if someone was protecting me. All day long, I had the distinct impression someone cares about me. Not only that, but I found a new place to shop. It’s going to be a wonderful place to get food. I can’t quite explain it, but I’m not sure I found it on my own.”

“I’ve felt that way, too. I think somebody does care for us. We’ve never gone hungry, have we?

“Say, why do you have that lint?”

“Because I need something soft for the nest.”

Jay tilted his head and looked at her curiously. “Honey, do you mean?”

“Yes ...Daddy.”

Jay puffed out his chest and burst into song.

~ Matt 6:26: “Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” KJV

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This article has been read 1158 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilee Alvey03/10/07
How creative....and adorable. Thanks for giving us a bird's eye view of their day. I wondered if you'd be able to present a message, but you sure did...and very effectively. I could put myself into the bird's day, the bird's routine. If I smack my lips at a juicy worm today, it's your fault! Your descriptions were spot on. Good job. Nice title, too.
Leigh MacKelvey03/10/07
Oh, so clever, clever, clever an idea! Your writing was clever too, as you kept this reader happy to read such a enjoyable story and didn't reveal the message to me until almost the end. Because I'm a mother, I got the "new baby" hint early when she picked up something to line her nest. I loved the personification and even the their names were clever. I could find nothing at all to give as constructive critism! Just keep writing as usual!
Sara Harricharan 03/12/07
Oh this is cute! I very much enjoyed it, the kind of story I know a few little girls would love to read. I liked the character of Feather and how nice she was even with that mean ol' crow. The line with "Cupcake" was a very realistic touch. I will say creative-because I never quite saw 'shopping' from the bird's POV. ^_^
Jacquelyn Horne03/12/07
Cute and sweet. Yes, God does take care of his creation. Good story.
Jen Davis03/12/07
Oh, this was really cute and most certainly a unique take on the topic. I loved this line: “That’s mine, Cupcake.” And Jay puffing out his chest was cute, too. The message was also very sweet. I liked it a lot!
Jan Ackerson 03/12/07
This is so cute! It just begs to be illustrated.
Joanne Malley03/12/07
I could imagine this to be the dialog of birds if they could talk! What a charming little story that's nicely done. :) An entertaining tale! Blessings, Jop
Joanne Malley03/12/07
Erm...I mean, Jo. LOL
Sandra Petersen 03/12/07
This was so cute, especially Jay's reaction at the news he was going to be a father. Never thought of birds shopping for their food from feeder to feeder. Would have liked to know what type of birds Feather and Jay were. Fun story to read.
Rita Garcia03/13/07
I agree with Jan!! This is begging to be illustrated. I love the way you weave a story!
Cassie Memmer03/13/07
Very entertaining! I really enjoyed reading this. It would make a marvelous children's story too. Great job!
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/13/07
I love it when the birds greet the morning with happy chatter. You did such a good job of describing God's creation and reminded us of God's care for us. This was excellent thoughout, creative and descriptive.
Myrna Noyes03/13/07
Oh-so-cute and very creative to boot! :) I enjoyed the read from perfect beginning to sweet ending!
Joanne Sher 03/14/07
So very sweet and fun. Great detail!
Sara Harricharan 03/15/07
Congrats on your Highly Commended! ^_^