Serial story Children

The Language of Birds: Hair affair

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The Corvids have received an electronic invitation to visit the Queen of Birds in Bali. Her exotic costume gains the family’s attention.

The story so far:Mr. Corvid, a lawyer and his wife were busy discussing a Parlez-Vous of Birds happening in Bali next month, when a Hoopoe came pecking at their door.

From every nook and hole in the bark, insect mothers hid the wriggling infants from the sharp beak of the Hoopoe.

“Swipe,” said Hoopoe drilling his beak under a branch. He pulled out a green caterpillar that had been hiding under a leaf and quickly gobbled it up.

“Caw? How may I help you?” asked Mrs. Corvid. She used the tender leaf from the same branch to wipe the corner of her mouth. It was dripping with the buttery yellow juice that she had squished out of the stomach of a rain-fly.

“This is your invitation from the Queen of Birds in Bali,” said the Hoopoe. “Her highness Cassowary of Mount Agung,” he added.

It was an electronic invitation. They clicked “Enter”.

The moving image of the Queen appeared on the screen. She was dressed in the most exotic costume of bird feathers. Her neck was a brilliant blue, with a flash of red chiffon tied at her throat. It rose out of a purple velvet gown that covered her ostrich-sized body including her large lion-claw feet.

Impressive hair-piece

“Look at her hat!” Mrs. Corvid cackled. “It’s moving all the time. I must have the address of her hairdresser”.

Mr. Corvid turned and shook his head up and down. “It is quite a remarkable hair-piece,” he mumbled.

The Queen of Birds had a crested lump rising from the middle of her head. Around it, trapped in an invisible hair-net, a cloud of tiny jewelled hummingbirds dived in and out, and round and round in ever-moving orbits. They circled around a crown of purple orchids and flashed in the sunlight like tiny jewels. Before you could say: “Emerald! Ruby! Topaz! Aquamarine!” they had gone out of orbit. Never did a humming bird bump into another one.

“Hi! I am Cass, the lass, with sass! Come join the party to save the world at my place on Mount Agung, the volcano in Bali,” she warbled.

To be continued

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 3:08:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/children/the-language-of-birds-hair-affair/article30146545.ece

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