FAVORITE STORY IS A SHORT STORY, SILLY STORY,
It takes a place where there are no birds. No butterfies or bumblebees, no dragonflies. No mocking birds no blue jays, red cardinals and birds of paradise, blue eyes and a smile and they dance. They did; they do not dance anymore. The fireflies don’t gather and blink in unique, subtle patterns hanging in the wind, in circles. And I’ve seen the paintings, the confused men with white long coats. And they knew them well, this behavior, the behavior of these blue boobies and dancing birds. We watched them glow in their constellations here on Earth, coordinated with some music too improper for us to hear, except in the pictures.
Each blink is a low south, a deep blue in the evening, they gathered, thousands of them as the dark crept up. Then one side would blink in A, a higher pitch, the night goes on, each blinking and on until the sun comes up and they disappeared in the day, needing the dark to shine.
And butterflies, their orchids for their beauty on that list, we know the list. So many birds, so many bugs, so many chorus lines unheard by us. We watched the constellations, by bugs with little little brains, that used their light to speak, they’d gone with ladybugs, the quiet way; they couldn’t fly. But now they do, on the TV, on the web, you can find it if you’d like. You’d see these meetings in the desert. And those pretty birds, David Attenburrough shows new kids and you can watch them now. When we were kids, when those birds were staying dark after the return of night, and now our kids, our town, we have this unique tradition. Every Earth day each of our youngest kids make origami grasshoppers, bumblebees in papier mache that somehow flew.
And some made mockingbirds, some finches, each with delicate contraptions, tongue depressors, toothpicks and glue, it kept them aloft as the wind bore them somehow. And we walked, each of the kids with their assigned bird. The little boys had remote controlled lightning bugs, one of the last, like the firefly and crows, but none held on for quite as long as the crane. The largest birds. They held on until the sun went down and stayed.
And so the story went.
The boys made the bumblebees, the older kids the other bugs, the lightning bugs, and the mockingbirds for girls, and mockingjays and finches for the children, and cranes for all who chose; the bumblebees left first, then the flowers took the warblers, the lightning bugs went with the orchid, and some made those, professors, the old men and older boys. But all age groups made cranes. Each different for each person: the youngest made the chicks, the oldest made those who made the last flight as the sun went down. But at the peak of Le corniche they release them, these origami birds, these bumblebees, the papier mache hangs in the breeze. The bees their buzzing drums out but the cranes, the children first. They walk to the legs and throw up their hands, and the chick flies fo the first time. Then the young cranes, their necks getting longer and more agile, larger wings kept them going even further against the young sun in the distance. The last of the cranes, as the sun sat red between the distance black silhouettes of valleys. And each crane as it faded came to life, rising above the wind and flapping their new wings towards the sun, disappearing eventually. The kids cheer, and they watch the sun go down. They gather their things, their little suitcases. They walked down the inclining, weathered path, all happy having seen the cranes fly away.