A Home for the Fairy Bird

A Home for the Fairy BirdThe sun shone warmly on Asarum's wings, though the air still held a bit of chill. His cousin Dicentra was showing him how to divide day lilies, but he kept getting distracted and flitting about to chase after bits of leaves caught by the breeze. Dicentra giggled and gave chase too from time to time. Whenever they returned breathless to the earth, she would give a few instructions.

"Here, hold your shovel like this and use it to cut a circle around the spot you want to dig."

Asarum struggled with the unfamiliar tool, but she encouraged him. "Very good! Just like that. Now use it like a lever to pry up the earth inside the circle." He leaned and jumped on the shovel, trying to dig up the lilies. Dicentra laughed so hard she fell to the ground. Then all at once she jumped up with her hand to her ear.

"Shhh …" she said as she touched his arm. He stood stock still to listen. No sound came at first, then he heard a slight tweet interrupted by a short sniffle. Asarum made a tweeting sound in reply. Dicentra gaped as a rare fairy bird emerged from the brush. It's purple and orange feathers drooped a little as it came forward.

"What's the matter?" asked Asarum in the bird's language.

"The home I built last year got blown away by the wind, and now I've sprained my wing so that it hurts too much to build another."

"What's he saying?" asked Dicentra. Asarum was surprised she couldn't understand bird languages, but explained the problem.

"I know just what to do!" she exclaimed, and went zipping off. Asarum tried to console the little fellow as he kept working to dig up the lilies. In the distance he heard the sound of sawing and hammering. Soon Dicentra returned with a house hardly bigger than her head.

"Will this work?" She held it out to the bird. Asarum held the fairy bird up to the entrance. He poked his plumed head through and back out again.

"Could I trouble you for some dried grass?" he asked. Dicentra rushed to grab a handful. The little bird arranged it in the house. "Now, could you just hang it up in that little tree there?" They did as he asked. "Thank you my friends, this is perfect!" While Dicentra helped Asarum finish dividing the lilies, the fairy bird broke out into a song that sounded like a babbling brook echoing off a canyon wall.


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