Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: ASKEW (06/07/18)
TITLE: What God Gave You
By Donna Powers
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Pete didn’t just flash those feathers for the zoo's peahens; he also unfurled his impressive plumage whenever a visitor craned an appreciative head toward the peacock cage. He was the star of the bird yard, and he knew and relished that status.
"Flaunt what God gave you" That was Pete 's motto.
But one spring, when all the other peacocks’ feathers had grown back, Pete found himself inexplicably sporting only half his feathers. The feathers which returned were as impressive as always, but Petes’ left side was noticeably featherless.
The zoo vet said he'd seen this happen to other peacocks and usually, the feathers would trickle back during the mating season; or the unfortunate bird would slowly decline until he died. It was sad to see it happen to Paul, but there wasn't anything to be done but accept it.
Meanwhile, Paul Peacock, who’d languished nobly for years as he’d humbly withstood the dubious honor of being the zoo’s second most popular peacock, hastily assumed his long-coveted dream of being Peacock Numero Uno. Paul smiled; it’d been a long time coming.
Meanwhile, poor Pete flaunted his remaining plumage as proudly as he could, and even took to standing so his balder side was hidden by a bush, but his heart just wasn’t in it. He sighed his peacock-iest sigh:”I just don’t know who I am; if I don’t have the fullest feathers!”
As soon as the words were out of his mouth, Pete regretted them. Was he really so vain? Had he allowed his feathers to define him? Surely his Creator - who was, after all, the Giver and Withholder of his feathers - had a purpose for him that went beyond the quantity of his feathers.
But it wasn't immediately apparent.
Pete sighed as he wistfully gazed at the crowds of visitors; fawning over Paul and snapping endless pictures. "That used to be me," Pete sighed. He sadly prepared to live out the rest of that mating season in obscurity.
And then he heard a voice call out, "Mommy, look! That peacock's just like me!"
Pete turned toward the voice. There stood a young boy with a huge, happy smile - and only one arm. The boy's mother hugged him and smiled; silently mouthing a "thank you" to Paul.
Pete preened and waved his remaining feathers proudly, as the boy happily joined him in a one-sided salute.
Flaunt what God gave you, indeed.
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