Balmy Birds

Daniel is turkey who hasn’t flown in his entire life. He resides in a cramped zoo within Houston, Texas. As a turkling, his mother always told him that he wasn’t meant to fly and should worry about other things such as finding a mate. His best friends, Mimi and Kiki, were free hummingbirds who visited Daniel in his cage often. They frequently encouraged Daniel to practice flying and told tales of the wondrous things they have seen during their flights.

“Danny, guess what we saw today”, Kiki exclaimed with wide eyes.

“I don’t know. A plane?”, Daniel asked.

“Exactly! It was gorgeous.”

When Kiki and Mimi left that morning, Daniel spent the rest of the afternoon raising and closing his wings, to practice flying. He was embarrassingly scared of heights and never could work up the nerve to jump off from anywhere that would warrant a flight. When the sun set, he looked up and saw an airplane soaring towards the sun. “Tomorrow”, he whispered.

Perched on a branch near the top of his cage (30 feet up), Daniel had spent the morning climbing to the the highest point he could get to. All the birds in the entrapment surrounded the tree that Daniel was on. They flew onto different branches and the ones that could not fly, settled at the bottom and craned their necks up to see the spectacle of the fat Daniel shaking at the top of the tree.

The birds on the branches all told him to jump and that he could do it. These birds were colorful in particular and had beautiful, unscarred wings. Their chirps vastly outweighed the volume of those at the bottom. There were many of them and they were closer to Daniel.

“Do it, Daniel! Turkeys can fly. Everyone knows that! We all know you can do it!” — a Blue Jay chirped.

“Don’t jump! Your weight will surely make you fall” — said Daniel’s mother.

All of the squeaky voices were wearing Daniel down and he began to feel faint. Zoo-goers and Zoo-keepers surrounded the bird entrapment, fascinated by Daniel and wondering if he would jump. They were excited and clearly indifferent to his overall safety.

“I swear I can do it!” — Daniel gobbled.

He lost his footing a bit, but readjusted. He looked down and finally noticed just exactly how high he was. The flightless birds were screaming trying to tell him something, but the voices of the birds on the branches flooded the cage.

Daniel looked up and saw Mimi and Kiki watching him from outside the cage. They were too far for him to say anything though. He wondered if they thought he would make the jump or not.

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