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Sue Spitulnik

Creative Lady

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canary

The Birdcage Cover – flash fiction

My sisters and I were gathered around an open trunk from our family home. Angelina took out a piece of yellow fabric that was shaped like a small Christmas tree skirt but only had a tiny center hole and snaps along the open edge. I asked, “What’s that?”

“Do  you remember the yellow canary we had when you were little?”

“Yeah, it sang when we ran water and louder when anyone whistled.”

“Mother made this from a tablecloth to cover its cage at night after Dad put the umpteenth cigarette burn in it. I wonder why she kept it?”

In response to Charli Mills August 2, 2018, prompt from Carrot Ranch Literary: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that includes a yellow tent. Where is it and who does it belong to? Think of how the color adds to the story. Go where the prompt leads.

August 2: Flash Fiction Challenge

 

Backyard Birds

Looking at the picture provided by the National Day of Calendar for bird day I realize that the backyard birds I have in western New York state are not the same you might have in your backyard elsewhere. But birds are birds. I love watching them at the feeder, flying across the back yard from the shrubs that outline our property, and hearing them “talk” to each other.

I fill our feeder attached to the window daily, and the big hanging one about once a week. The blue jays, who always announce their arrival, and the quiet sleek titmouse come especially for the peanuts. Sometimes they scatter other seed on the ground, the doves and juncos clean that up so we don’t mind. We call the sparrows pigs because they eat anything, until it’s gone. I also throw scraps out for the crows; they very timidly approach the patio, pick up as much as they can carry in their big beaks, and fly off with it. When one arrives, if there are treats, they call to their friends and more crows land silently. I’ve read that crows bring presents to those that feed them, so far, nothing has been left for me. I’m still hoping.

When my granddaughter is here, she notices the bright red on the woodpeckers that visit the suet feeder. I still haven’t convinced the lady at the public market I don’t want loose chunks of suet when I buy it. They don’t stay in the feeder like a nice solid piece does. Once in a while we have a pileated woodpecker visit, they are the huge ones that look like Woody woodpecker. That’s a real treat to see them.

I guess my fascination with birds started when I was a kid and we often had a canary in our kitchen. I remember they usually sang when someone was doing dishes, and if my father whistled a tune to them. Currently, most of the rooms in my house have some sort of birds in them whether in fabric for the shower curtain, a quilt, photographs, paintings, needlepoint, on bells, and even the ceiling border. I’m fussy though, for decorating, I want my birds to be the correct size, color and shape for their breed.

Our cat, Useless, thinks it’s good we feed the birds, he catches the mice that eat the leftovers on the ground. I wish he’d chase away the squirrels that try to get in the feeders, but I guess they are too big to interest him. At least he leaves the birds alone.

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