The Girl and the FeatherOne day a girl was walking on a sidewalk. She had no destination in mind; she was walking because she enjoyed the texture of that particular sidewalk beneath her red sneakers. The girl perceived a merry quality in the dirt-splattered cement that no other sidewalk shared.
That day the wind blew ever so slightly, so that only if the girl were the size of an ant or smaller would she have to worry about getting blown over. She considered her good fortune for not having been an ant that day and examined the ground for any that might need assistance.
Maybe, the girl thought, the ants are taking shelter under that white feather near the edge of the sidewalk. She knelt down with her bare knees on the dirty cement and peered under the feather. Finding no ants, she picked the feather up. It was the length of her second longest finger and softer than her favorite sweater. The girl wondered why the feather had chosen her sidewalk as a place to land. Maybe it, too, felt the merriness of the cement.
After the girl walked fourteen steps, she encountered another feather identical to the first. She thought the feathers must be friends and saw another, and another. Soon she found herself among a whole party of feathers and began dancing because that was the best thing to do at parties.
As the girl danced, she became aware of someone other than the feathers watching her. She opened her eyes and discovered that she was face to face with a boy.
“Are you here for the party?” the girl asked the boy.
“Party? I’m sorry.” The boy looked lost, and guilty. “Am I intruding on something?”
“No, you’re invited, too,” said the girl. “Dance!” She resumed dancing, and each twirl spoke to the boy in some unknown language.
“I can’t,” said the boy, looking down. “I don’t have my wings.”
“Where are they?” asked the girl.
“I don’t know,” the boy replied. “I didn’t know they were missing until I saw all these feathers.”
The girl, who felt that she had become good friends with the feathers, (after all, she had danced at their party) had an idea.
“Do you like these feathers?” she asked the boy.
“I suppose,” said the boy. “They do look soft.”
“They are.” She handed him the feather that she had been holding the whole time.
“And I like how white they are, even though they’ve been on the ground.”
The girl smiled. The boy was starting to think her idea.
And as the boy trailed off, the girl began to collect the feathers from the sidewalk. The boy joined her, and soon they had enough feathers to make wings. To tie them all together, the girl removed the purple shoelace from her left sneaker and gave it to the boy, who tied the feathers to each other and then to himself.
“There,” said the girl to the angel, “now you can dance.”
[TABLE OF CONTENTS, LHS CLASS OF 2011 EDITION]
Copyright © 2002-2010 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose © 2002-2010 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission.