The Bird

Once upon a time in a land far away lived an old man.  He lived in a cottage not far from Schneeze.

Many a day he would walk out of his tiny cottage in the woods and walk along the paths towards the village clothed in a little brown jacket with pants and shoes that matched.  He loved to match colors and dress in casual but comfortable clothes.

One -day as he was walking to the village he spied a bird in need.  Looking around he saw nobody to help so he picked up the bird in his gentle hands, put him in his pocket to keep warm, and continued on his way.  While he was at the village he bought a handkerchief, a small tin cup and seeds. Then he took the bird and the things he had bought and went back home.

When he got there he lit a couple candles to make the house brighter so he could see, took the bird out of his pocket and placed it on the table.  After massaging the bird all over, he took the handkerchief and wrapped up the bird.

After the bird was wrapped up he put the seeds in the cup and fed the bird.  It was getting dark so he went to bed.

After a couple days the bird began to feel better.  He’d hop about the room jumping on one thing and then another.  Soon, the old man thought, the little bird won’t be needing any more help.

That night everything was quiet.  It was the quietest night for several weeks.  Usually the animals were noisy.  Some of the people in the village said the animals did it to ward off evil spirits.  This night not a sound was heard from anywhere.

The next morning as the old man woke up, the bird came to his side and gave him a glance.  The old man understood and got up to let the bird outside.

The old man had lost a friend so he was sad the next day.  When the bird was in his home he was happy.

The next day the old man went to the village as usual.  While he was there he spied an old English Antique shop.  Seeing a lot of good things in the window, he went in and looked around, as he was doing so a lady came up to him and said,”Are you the man who helped the little bird?”

“Yes,” replied the old man, “Why do you ask?”

“I’m just curious.” she said.

“Why are you curious? Did you see me pick it up?”

“No,” explained the lady.”I was just told by someone.  He told me to tell you to go to the old Turkish well on the south side of the village.  I haven’t the faintest idea what he wants you there for.”

After the old man had done his shopping he went to the south side of the village.

It was a long, tiring walk to the south side.  He passed a lot of gift shops, cafes, craftsmen shops, and houses.  It was late afternoon when he arrived at the well. As he approached he saw a figure standing under a fig tree by the well.  The figure was completely dressed in white from head to foot.

The man was astonished to see a figure standing there.  He was afraid that he was dreaming.  It was very scary.  When the old man walked near, it spoke to him in a strange voice saying, “I have longed to meet you.  You were very kind.  Why did you pick the bird up? Many people would have ignored it, yet you helped it.  Why?”

“I did it because I enjoy helping others.  I am kind to a lot of things that other people wouldn’t bother with.  I have an urge to help them.  Do you  understand what I am trying to say?”

“Yes,” said the voice from under the white robe,”I know.”

Then to the old man’s astonishment the figure disappeared.  Not a trace of what he saw or heard was left.

It was turning dark so the old man decided to return to his cottage.  It was a long way off but he could easily catch a coach to the village square where he would find a short path to his house.

The next day as the old man was dressing he spotted a white piece of cloth on his dresser.  Fastened to it were big bold letters that read “THANKS.”

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