Train of tales Children

Freak family

Story so far: The freezing winters did not seem to dampen Shorty’s spirit. He was busy making his group grow in numbers.

“Silly Willy, Silly Willy,” the weaver birds flapped their wings and chanted, as Willy, a tiny yellow baya weaver, struggled to weave a nest. “Willy can’t weave, Willy’s not a weaver! That’s no beak, that’s scissors!”

Instead of the grass coming together, Willy’s crooked beak tore the blades of grass apart.

“It’s already way past nesting season, and my home isn’t ready,” sobbed Willy. “Where will I go?”

“Come with us,” said Crow.

“In the place we’re going to spend winter, various species of birds come together from all over the world. Everyone’s welcome there,” said Shorty.

“Of course!’ quacked Drax. “First, there was Shorty. Then, Crow came along. Now, Silly Willy. We’re the freak family!”

“Ignore them,” said Shorty, who was used to their hurtful taunts.

Best friend

“Yes,” said Crow, who was tired of being judged for being different. “They’re just jealous because we’re different and can do things they can’t. For example, I can make birds fall off trees and scare animals away with my song.”

“Then I can shred even the strongest rope with my sharp beak,” replied Willy, for the first time feeling a sense of pride in himself.

“And I...I...” mumbled Shorty, searching for his own redeeming quality, when Crow and Willy chirped together, “You are the best friend anyone can ever have.”

“Really!” beamed Shorty, his feathers all fluffy with pride. It didn’t matter he had one short wing.

After a long, tiring day of flying, Drax and the flock of ducks were relieved to see a beautiful lake and descended upon a large vacant spot in the middle.

What Drax was unable to see in the twilight was a hunter’s trap. “Oh no,” quacked the ducks. “We’re all dead ducks.”

“Help! Help!” called Drax, hoping Shorty and his friends would hear him. Instead, the hunter’s dog, Tiger, heard Drax calling. Seeing him approaching, the ducks flapped their wings frantically, only to get more tangled in the net.

“Drax, you’re the strongest. Save us,” cried one of the ducks, as Tiger’s white fangs closed on her slender neck.

“Drop her,” Drax quacked.

Surprisingly, Tiger released the duck and pounced on Drax. He was about to rip Drax’s head off when he heard a ear-splitting song. Tiger dropped Drax and shoved his paws into his ears.

“Thank you, Crow,” said a grateful Drax. He’d never been so happy to see Shorty, and his new friends.

His ears still ringing, Tiger chased after Crow who cleverly led him away from the ducks, giving Willy enough time to use his sharp beak to cut a large hole in the net.

“Willy, super-beak,” cheered the grateful ducks, as they emerged from the net. Hearing the commotion, the hunter picked up his gun and rushed to the lake. But before he could fire, the birds flapped their wings and flew off.

Thereafter, whenever Drax or the ducks came across a unique bird, they always appreciated its special skill instead of making fun of it.

The End.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2020 4:21:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/freak-family/article32308892.ece

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