by Bobbi A. Chukran
Winged Crusader was first published in 2008 on the Clockwise Cat blog. Check out a review & giveaway of Bobbi’s new novella in this issue of KRL.
The little girl with the cerulean blue hair peered into the rosebush by the front porch. Because of her hair, which was natural, her grandmother called her “Blue.” An avid bird-lover, Blue had heard some peeping noises coming from inside her grandmother’s rosebushes the day before, and wanted to check to see if there were any baby birds living there. She knew it was almost Valentine’s Day, time for her grandmother to trim the bushes and she didn’t want the birds to be harmed.
Sure enough, there was a nest with some blue and white speckled egg fragments and four tiny purple bird babies, and they were peeping and cheeping up a storm. No sign of mother bird, though. Blue thought that the bird babies must be hungry, but knew better than to bother them.
Blue pondered and thought, and pondered some more. She knew that her grandmother was deathly afraid of snakes, so she went down to the local hardware store and bought one of those squishy rubber snakes you put in your garden to keep the birds away. “How ironic,” thought Blue, “that I should use a rubber snake to keep my grandmother away from her bushes, instead of keeping birds away.” Whatever works was Blue’s motto in life. She’d do almost anything to protect the birds. In her experience, the birds just ignored the snakes anyway.
The next day, sure enough, Grandmother came outside with her clippers, her yellow elbow-high rose cutting gloves, her twee, little red trug to hold the cut roses and an orange plastic trash can to hold the trimmings. Grandmother also loved birds, but not as much as her roses, and couldn’t see well enough to avoid the nests built in them. She could see the bright fluorescent green snakes, though, that Blue had put in the midst of the fuchsia flowers.
Her grandmother reached out for the bush, saw the snakes, screamed and keeled over. Blue was watching from the living room window. She smiled then walked outside. The mother bird flew into the garden and landed on Blue’s shoulder.
Mission accomplished–the baby birds were safe. Blue pulled off the little girl mask then flew off into the distance.
Check out more short stories in our Terrific Tales section.