Chapter 4: Feathering A Nest

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 177

After leaving Slag behind, and his crazy valley of clover, Calvin took another road back towards the seaport.

Camping that night near a bubbling stream, (Yes, really, it was bubbling!), Calvin and Doolittle had their evening meal and wrapped up for their night-time snooze. Tomorrow would bring another day and another unexpected visitor.


On the planet of Wishes there are many kinds of creatures, both great and small, but the most confounding creature is the Cuddle-Bird.

Cuddle-Birds are true to their name in that they have the need to cuddle when they sleep. And it really doesn't matter what, or who, they cuddle with as long as they can keep warm while doing so. And not get eaten, of course.

Clovertons have found Cuddle-Birds sleeping in their infants beds, under their chickens, in their fetcher-dogs burrows, well, you get the picture. If they can sneak their way in, and it is warm, they will cuddle there.

So it was not surprising when Calvin discovered a Cuddle-Bird snuggled up with Doolittle.

The previous night was cold, to say the least, and both Calvin and Doolittle were curled up near the campfire. 

Cuddle-Birds, on the island of Clover, are about the size of sparrows, but the one with Doolittle was almost as big as Doolittle. It was huge, for the likes of a Cuddle-Bird.

When Calvin saw the creature in the early morning's light, he said, "Good Greeley, you are a monster!"

The Cuddle-Bird looked at Calvin and replied, "I'm sure that you are not the prize your father hoped for either, but you will not hear a lady of my feathered variety pointing out your obvious faults."

Calvin thought about what had spilled out of his mouth and tried to correct the mistake by saying, "I am so sorry, the size of you startled me.

Where I come from, on the Island of Clover, Cuddle-Birds are much smaller, and they don't talk. So when I saw how big you were, well, it startled me. Will you, please, accept my apology?"

The Bird snuggled its head under Doolittle's Chin and replied, "Maybe they just do not have a reason to say anything."

Calvin was confused by the answer and asked, "What do you mean?"

The Bird made a warbling sound and then stated, "The Cuddle-Birds on Clover, maybe they just do not have a reason to say anything. I would not have said anything to you, but you insulted me so I felt I needed to respond.

Have you ever tried talking to a Cuddle-bird on your Island? Maybe they don't talk because you never tried to start a conversation. Some Cuddle-Birds are shy, not me, but some are. Did you know that?"

Calvin looked bewildered, at first, and then he had a look of joyous understanding on his face. So he smiled and stated, "No, I didn't know that. And now that you’ve told me, maybe they do talk and I just don't know it; I'll have to ask one when I get home. Thanks!"

The bird made that warbling sound again and said, "You are welcome.

Oh, and NO, I do not forgive you for your rude comment! However, if I was to receive a gesture of your heartfelt sincerity, oh, say, maybe some fruit or grains. Or maybe something from the Karryme feedbag, even some spare nuts that you might have in that food sack of yours. Well then, this lady-bird might feel differently."

With a half-smile on his face, Calvin quickly replied, "Please forgive me for my rudeness, again, won't you share our morning meal? I'm sure that I could find something to your liking hidden among my stash of foodstuffs."

The Cuddle-Bird jumped up, causing Doolittle to be started awake, (Karryme are very heavy sleepers.), and then she said, "Let's go have a look-see as to what you have. Shall we? I'm starving!

During the morning meal one of the Cuddle-Bird's breast feathers fell out and Calvin couldn't help but notice how much it looked like a hand-held Wavy-fan; but it was not made of a fern-leaf, as are the originals fans.

So Calvin noted the loss to Cuddles. "You have lost a feather, and oddly enough it looks like a Wavy-fan. I'll bet it would make a very good Wavy-fan."

"What is a Wavy-fan?" Cuddles ask while trying to open a Rock-nut without a Rock-nut Cruncher.

Calvin reached for his Rock-nut Cruncher and said, "Here, let me help you with that nut, they can be a tough nut to crack."

Snap! --- "There you are, it is opened and ready to eat. Rock-nuts are deliriously delicious, but terribly hard to open. Enjoy!

Now where were we? --- Oh that's right!

Well, Clovertons fashion Wavy-fans from the leaves of the Ferny-bush; they are used to cool down during very hot times. They wave them in front of their faces, which make the air move, and then the air movement cools them. Here, I can show you if you don't mind me using this fallen feather?"

The bird insinuated a YES gesture while gobbling down some of the Karryme's morning meal. So Calvin picked up the feather and began waving it in front of the bird's face.

"Munch, munch, Oh that feels nice, chomp, munch, munch, very nice indeed," Cuddles stated while looking around for something else to eat.

Calvin asked Cuddles if her feathers fell out often and she mumbled, in between chewing, "Oh, all the time."

That answer gave Calvin an idea so he asked her what she did with them.

"Come, get on my back and I will show you," Cuddles said after swallowing the last of the visible food.

So Calvin climbed aboard and off they went, sky bound.

After a good deal of time Cuddles landed on a hill-top and pointed at a valley below. "Look down there," she told Calvin, "that valley is where all the Cuddle-birds put their feathers."

"Why do you put them here?" questioned Calvin.

The Cuddle-Bird laughed and said, "Why Not? It is as good a place as any!"

Calvin couldn't tell if the Cuddle-Bird was trying to be funny, or if there was a real good reason for putting the feathers there; that question was soon to be answered.

Suddenly Calvin felt a wind on his back, and as he turned to see what was causing it another Cuddle-Bird landed on the hill-top. The new arrival was even bigger that Cuddles!

"I am Biggest, King of the Cuddle-Birds!" stated the new arrival. "Who are you?"

"I am Calvin from the Island of Clover, your Kingship. I have come to see the place where Cuddle-Birds of ALL bring their feathers. This bird, Cuddles, was kind enough to show me its whereabouts. Was that permissible?"

King Biggest chuckled a bit and replied, "Oh sure, no problem. Would you like to have some to take home? We have plenty!"

Calvin scratched his head and asked the King, "Why would you want to give away your feathers? They must be worth a fortune."

The King replied, "Look Calvin, I'm going to be honest with you. We Cuddle-Birds place the feathers here because the feathers clog-up everything. If we let the feathers blow off in the wind then they end up in the streams, rivers, and lakes. They are well coated so they don't sink when wet. They just float along like feather-boats until they get stuck on something. And when that happens, more feathers float along and get stuck too! Well, pretty soon there is a river-clog, or a covered-up stream that no creature can find, you know, to drink from. The lakes would be covered too if we didn't put the feathers here. But the valley is getting full and no-one in all of ALL knows what to do about it.

"Sell them!" Calvin exclaimed, in a matter-ah-fact way.

"The Cuddle-Bird King laughed and replied, "Who in their right mind would want to buy feathers, especially big feathers like these?"

Calvin stepped forward and asked, "Do you have Giants on ALL?"

"Yes, thousands," was the answer.

Then tell the bed makers that they are losing customers because they are not making the proper beds and pillows for the Giant population. Show them the fine quality and large size of your down-feathers and they will buy them. I'm sure of it! 

Take Brest-feathers and sell them to the merchants in the hot times of the seasons. They work well as Wavy-fans!"

"The King looked puzzled and asks, "What are Wavy-fans?"

Cuddles chimed in and said, "I can show you, Daddy! They are real good at making you cooler!"

Calvin brought his speech to an end by saying, "You said that the feathers had a water-resistant coating on them. If that is true then sell some of the feathers to boat and ship builders! They could use them to line the inside of their vessels. After all, they are light, durable, and water resistant!"

Calvin helped the Cuddle-Bird King pitch the ideas to everyone concerned and by the time Calvin and Doolittle set sail there was a new feather business up and running. After all, in ALL, feather inventory was not a problem and deliveries could be made by flying transports.

Of course, Calvin receives ten percent of the first years profits; a business consultant's fee. He also receives one percent stake in the company. And that should keep him in bird-seed for awhile.



Submitted: April 18, 2018

© Copyright 2020 D. Thurmond aka JEF. All rights reserved.


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