Come Down, Little Bird!

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A little bird with a broken wing finds a high perch to launch from.

Submitted: November 14, 2006

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Submitted: November 14, 2006



"Come down, little bird!"

‘No. NO! I can fly. I am ready.’

‘No, little bird. Not yet, there’s still time for you. Oh please, you haven’t healed yet. Come down! Here, hop on to my hand now.’

‘I am healed! I am healed! You just won’t let me get away, won’t let me FLY away…’

‘Oh darling, why can’t you…wait! Flap your wing! Please! You know, like all you birds do when you fly? Just a couple of times for me? Please?’

‘ this?’

‘No, no, you little rascal! The RIGHT wing! Yes. Yes. That’s right. That’s the one! Now, flap it.’


‘See? See? That’s why, darling… Your wing isn’t right. You can’t fly! If you jump off, you will fall. You won’t fly. You will fall and hurt again.’

‘But why?! Why does my wing hurt? Ohhh!’

‘Don’t cry, poor bird, stop crying. Your wing is broken. You hurt it, remember? The last time you wanted to fly? You came all by yourself and took off! Never even told me. I would have shown you where, I would have shown you how. But you just jumped, and fell. And broke your poor little wing.’

‘I don’t know… I don’t know. I…I…want to get into the sky…’

‘Little bird, you are not ready yet…trust me, won’t you? I have been good to you, haven’t I? Haven’t I?! Here, I won’t give you the pin, ok?’

‘Really? N-no pin?’

‘Oh yes! No sting, no needle for my little tweetie bird. My darling will get the sweets, the hugs and the kisses.’


‘Come on, little bird. Let me help you, darling. Let me heal your wing, let me give you enough strength, and teach you how to hold flight in high winds. It is time to get better now.’

‘Ok….I love you.’

‘I love you too. You know that, don’t you? Yes, hop on to my hand… right there in my palm…yes! There, that’s my sweet, my lovely and sensible little bird. He’s a smart birdie, he’ll get better, his wing won’t hurt anymore and he’ll fly away soon.’


The nurse turns around to the petrified intern watching the scene. Her whole being reeks of fear and sweat. But her eyes are relieved and clear.

Her instructions come out to him rapidly in a low monotone:

‘Get me the jacket double quick and help me with it. Then go page the doctor and tell him No. 11 has had the attack again. He’s all right; I'll stay with him, but he needs his calming shot. Get back here with the resident psychiatric counselor. And on your way, ensure you notify the electrotherapy team. Move!’

As he hurries away, he throws a brief glance back over his shoulder. The elderly nurse has already helped down the scrawny man off the railing of the second floor balcony. She is ushering him into the room, muttering tender words into his ear, her hand firmly on his shoulder.

The intern, new to the asylum, has heard of ‘the bird’. His heart had jumped into his throat when he spotted a lanky figure high up on the building, struggling on to the overhang of the second floor, his legs on the thin railing trembling. He had been assisting the nurse in calming the old woman that stood tearing at her wispy hair in the lawn across the building, her head bloodied already. They had rushed up, desperate to reach in time.

A 'flight' occured last month, one hot afternoon. The asylum had edged into a restful peace as the inmates sought slumber after a heavy meal. The bird enjoyed an unescorted half hour. Then he found a 12-foot ladder left unmanned by the janitor in the corridor connecting two patient wings.

In a fit of glee, he decided to launch himself from atop this ladder and soar to the high roof. He fell and broke his right arm. The same nurse was roused with his screaming. Later, she had raised a ruckus with the warden over shoddy attention to procedure in the asylum:

‘The bird’s progressing fast, doctor! Every time he flies, he finds a higher perch to do it from.’

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