“Thump!” The sound shuddered through the air as the sports car sped off.
A flurry of rainbow feathers fell to the ground.
Big, strong hands gently wrapped the injured bird with paper towel bandages.
“What should we name him?” the children were asked.
“Jack!” nodded Little Boy Blue.
Still as a statue, Jack lay. Upside down.
He couldn’t move.
Sore leg. Dizzy head. Poor wings.
But lots of love around. Faces peered carefully over the top of the cardboard hospital box.
Quick, call the Bird Doctor. “BRRRNG!”
“Give him till the morning. You’ll be surprised, he’ll come good!”
So he was encouraged: “Drink Jack! Eat Jack!”
But Jack sat frozen. Eyes blinking quietly. Drinking only but a bit of water.
Day 1. Day 2. Day 3. Day 4. Day 5.
Each day, all the while, Little Blue would rise early. Playing beside his little friend.
Willing him to get better. “Are you alright Jack?”
Even wishing him good night just before bedtime.
“Put him right on my arm so he can jump off and fly,” said Little Blue.
Slowly but surely, Jack grew stronger. He was able to step. Then walk.
Then he pecked and ate and gobbled.
Apple. Pear. Strawberries. Orange. Oh! Yum, yum, yum, yum, yum!
By the end of the week both wings were flapping.
In the front yard. Just as he had hoped, Little Blue carried Jack on his arm.
Jack walked up Little Blue’s arm, pecking him “Thank you” all the way.
On his shoulder. Under his neck. Kissed his cheek.
By now Little Blue was giggling.
“Okay, Okay!” And on the final “Okay”, Jack spread his wings. As fast as he had arrived, Jack launched off Little Blue’s back and flew into the sky. Up he glided, around a bush then shot above the trees, into the sky like a jet plane.
Oh! What a sight!
Thank you Little Blue for this lesson of caring for our friends.
Thank you Jack for this lesson of never giving up.
And thank you God for this lesson, reminding us that surely Your love and goodness follows us ALL the happy, hurt, playing, eating, flying days of our lives! (Psalm 23:6).
Latileta Alefaio is based in Kempsey, New South Wales, and enjoys being a mother to three, teacher, radio announcer and artist.