Snow covered the ground like a pure white sheet. I was sitting on top of a cloud. The sky expressed itself in a dark blue hue. I was 6 years old lying down and holding my BB gun. We were true companions. Every day the more I used it, the more it became a part of me. I would breathe slowly to ensure I minimize my chest from expanding too much and too quickly. This would ensure greater precision and accuracy.
I no longer wanted to shoot cans and bottles, instead my aim was at a bird. This target was perched beautifully at the end of a tree branch. It was a clear shot. I targeted its smallest portion, the head. Slowly I breathed and slowly I squeezed the trigger. I carefully made the final adjustment. The barrel and darken outline of the being’s upper region was aligned.
It dropped straight to the ground.
I ran over with excitement. I did it. I had taken life. I was a man.
The bird was at the base of the tree. Its back was against the trunk and his wings were at its sides. It resembled me, much like how I would sit against a tree. My back would be against the trunk with my arms extended with the back of my hands resting on the ground. The bird also sat in a small crater of snow. The blood glowed in the midst of the snow’s purity. She was breathing heavily and rapidly trying desperately to breathe what remaining life there was in the air.
Everything stopped. The wind stopped blowing and trees did not creek or crack. There was no life. No movement. Everything was watching her. Everything took those minutes to watch her slowly die, painfully. I did not know a bird could breathe so harshly and so loudly. Blood was streaming out of her mouth. She was smacking her beak together with her head down. She was trying to get the blood out so she could breathe, so she could live. I began to cry. My God, what have I done? She was slowing her breathing. She was dying. She seemed to breathe normal now. She lifted her head to look at my watery eyes. She saw my grief. She understands that I now see. Her head bowed and the breathing stopped. Her life was over. The world came back to life. The wind began to blow and the trees creek and cracked to whisper their disgust. I placed the bird into my hands.
What can I do? My grandparents planted a series of tree sprouts. I dug up one the trees and I placed her into her grave. Then I put the tree back and filled the hollow circle.
I am now 23 years old. The slain bird tree is larger than the others are and most families of birds prefer it. Its branches are numerous which provides more space.
I like to go outside and watch the birds live. I love to see them feed their babies in the spring. I love to see them teach their youth to fly in the summer. I even like to see the nest become empty so the cycle can start over again. I love how they care for their young.
I love their freedom and perspective. They fly and go wherever they wish. Above all else, something that I always envy, they view life from the ground as we do and view life from the sky. Up in the sky, they look below and see the insignificance of all things. How great beautiful buildings and roads are small and insignificant in the grand scheme, but they also view things on the ground and see the significant of little things.