Baby Bird thought she was the answer to every question.
When the sun shined down on her, Baby Bird said, “I was feeling so cold, but now I am warm. I must’ve done something to make the sun happy.” She fluffed her feathers and stretched out her wings.
But when a cloud rained down on her, Baby Bird said, “I was so comfortable before, and now I’m all wet. I must’ve done something to make the cloud sad.” She ducked her head under her wing and felt very sorry for herself.
Once the rain cloud had passed and the sun had come out again, a grasshopper played a jaunty tune. “Oh, no,” Baby Bird said. “I don’t like that tune at all. Mister Grasshopper, play something else instead.”
“My song isn’t for you, Baby Bird,” the grasshopper said. “It’s for me.”
“But I don’t like it,” Baby Bird protested.
“I’m sorry to hear that — but you can get up and move, if you like. I don’t have to stop just because it doesn’t suit you. It’s not about you. You can —”
Baby Bird bit off the grasshopper’s head, then she ate the rest of him. “I was hungry before and now I’m not,” Baby Bird said.
The grasshopper said nothing.
A sister and brother were lost in the forest. The smallest sound would make them jump and flinch.
“Is it getting close to my bathtime?” the little boy complained. “I feel dirty. We’ve been walking for so long.”
The girl saw the brook that had caught his eye. She considered how cold it would feel — nothing like a warm bath at home. And there was nothing with which to towel him off. Though it was tempting, she didn’t stop.
“Is it getting close to my suppertime?” the little boy complained. “I’m so very hungry. I can’t remember the last time we ate.”
The girl saw the berries that had caught his eye. She didn’t know if they were good for people or only for birds. She considered making a fire and catching a hare, but it had recently rained — the wet wood would only sputter and smoke.
“Is it getting close to my bedtime?” the little boy complained. “Sister, I’m sleepy.”
Then they heard a rustle — both children froze. The girl grabbed her brother and pulled him down into the bushes, where they waited, crouching, for whatever had made the noise.
“What is it?” the little boy said, but the girl just hissed at him.
A moment later, their father stepped into view. The little boy saw him and began to rise. “It is our fath—” he started to say, but the girl clamped a hand over his mouth. She wrestled him down and held him still when he struggled. Their father paused, looking both ways with his bloodshot eyes, while they remained hidden. Soon he continued through the forest.
The girl watched him go. She waited a very long time.
Once there was a king who loved his small dog more than anything else in the world. But the king’s palace was very large and his dog was very small. It was easy to be separated.
So the king tied a bell around his dog’s collar, to hear it from many rooms away. However, even then the dog would get lost, occasionally for days at a time. The king resolved that they must live somewhere smaller.
Although his royal advisers thought he was mad, the king and his dog moved to more modest accommodations. Their second home had fewer rooms than the palace, but still his dog would get lost and the king couldn’t hear the bell. So he resolved to move yet again.
Although his royal advisers thought he was more mad than before, the king commandeered a sheepfold from one of his subjects. Now he and his dog could live in the same small room. The king felt satisfied, but now he became annoyed by the constant ringing of the bell.
Finally he arrived at a compromise. The king would commandeer the entire sheep meadow, so that he and his dog could live outside. Now there was nowhere for the dog to get lost and the king would’ve have to endure the ringing of the bell all the time.
But on their first night a pack of wild dogs ate the king’s pet. They tore the small dog to pieces — one of them even ate his collar. The next morning the king couldn’t find his small dog anywhere. He listened for the bell, but he couldn’t hear it. From that day forward, he wandered his kingdom from glen to dale and never slept in the same place twice, truly driven mad by his missing pet
This is a repository for JY's original content that's yet to be bound in a book -- essays, short fiction, etc. There's little rhyme or reason, so jump in!