erika connor

artist writer traveller

The fledgling that couldn’t fly


I saw the cats running. There was an eruption in the forest, bushes snapping, a rush of leaves, a robin’s high-pitched alarm, a squealing and screeching. The white and grey striped cat with one blind eye had pinned something down. I pushed her away, grabbed her by the shoulders, and with my other hand spread the leaves apart to unveil a baby robin. I took it in my hands, its tufted feathers and white speckled breast, still warm, its dark eye half closed,  seeing me. The mother flew branch to branch calling. Where should I put him? I saw a high fork in a maple tree. The little bird suddenly fluttered in my hands. I put him gently into the fork and he went still. It was the flutter of life before death, the great impulse to be free.

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