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December 29, 2013

A bird in the hand, or the Christmas gift

(Continued)

NORMAN —

With trepidation, she opened the gift, and the bird, whose name could have been Houdini, was unexpectedly freed to zoom in panicked circles from the living room to the kitchen, bumping into windows, glass doors and draperies, as we shrieked and waved in chaotic pursuit. This was not Daddy’s plan.

When it reached the kitchen window a second time, it crashed hard enough to be temporarily stunned and, in cartoon-style, fell into the cold broth that was soon to have become our gravy. Exclamations that started from the moment of liberation to the “big dip” were loud, but nothing louder than Mom’s “I hope you’re satisfied.”

Sheepishly, Daddy toweled the victim dry and set him outside on a sunny, southern windowsill. We all chose to believe that he lived happily ever after.

Author’s note: The recorder died of old age, the victim of technology. The laughter and the music, however, are recorded on my heart.

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