The Quiver of Wings

A dull thud, the blue tit drops to the patio, and Anna hastens to open the French door before lazy cat George thinks a snack has dropped from heaven. She cradles the tiny, feathery body in her bare hands. No heartbeat. But a glimmer of sky is reflected in the jet of its eye. Anna’s heart weighs heavy. The spring breeze ruffles the bird’s feathers – and its beak opens with a sudden gasp. The warmth of her hands is working its magic! The bird shakes itself as if waking from a nightmare, its wings quiver, and Anna’s heart flies.

Free image by Jan Meeus on Unsplash

I wrote this piece of flash fiction for the Globe Soup June Micro Writing Competition, in which we had 100 words or fewer to write on the theme of ‘flying’. I’m sad to say it wasn’t even longlisted. Since then, life has reflected fiction and my husband rescued a fledgling sparrow whose head was trapped in a bird feeder. He found a sanctuary that could deal with it and since then Twenty Two (named after her registration number at the sanctuary) seems to be doing well. The only real damage was to one of her knees – I didn’t know that sparrows even had knees! If all is well, she can be set free in our garden in a week or two.

6 thoughts on “The Quiver of Wings

  1. I so resonated with this post. I had a somewhat similar encounter with a hummingbird who got inside and was beating its wings in a corner of a window. I cupped my hands gently and carried it out to the deck but the shock of being caught by a human stunned it. When I opened my hands, it was lying on its back in surrender. But when it glimpsed the sky it was up and off in an instant. It was all quite amazing. I’m glad your little one will recover. I didnt know they had knees either!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so pleased my piece spoke to you, Sherry. Sadly, there are no hummingbirds here, but we have a pair of woodpeckers that come to our feeders.


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