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Emma’s Bluejay

Once upon a time, a young blue jay bird lived in a wood. One day the blue jay was alone, learning its wings above the tree tops. It seemed to swim through the air, spinning about, breathing in light, depth and colors, feeling the spring morning air whistling past its wings. That day, the jay rose higher than he had ever flown. The tips of the highest trees, far below, looked small. It looked round and saw horizons further and fainter than he had ever seen. It occurred the him as he rolled, stretched in line with the horizon that the world must be round and very, very large. In the distance, higher still, he saw a red bird coming as if newly born of the noon day sun. He flew upward to meet it, the sun warming him and the wind cooling him as if held by the great breathes of an ancient, incomprehensible being. He became frightened. Thoughts of danger and high flown death touched his wings, his mind, his heart. He turned down toward the now very tiny tree tops and, he felt, safety, far, far below. He was not in time. The fire red bird was upon him. The jay felt the fiery bird’s head beneath its wings. Death was upon it, but not just yet. Above all, the jay feared death and so rose above it. He flew up. The fiery bird rose too and they parted like mirrored arcs. The jay caught the fire’s eye and something passed between them that approached understanding and camaraderie. They flew upward, experiencing new heights. They crossed the sky the afternoon, soaring with wonder and delight. When evening came upon them, they had come to rest on the limb of a tree, in another wood, new to them, yet somehow home.