Birds of a Feather

By Susan Cornford

Poets love birds; they’re always writing odes to nightingales and skylarks, when all I ever wanted was for him to write an ode about me. I mean, he’s willing to sleep with me but, if I grew a few feathers and laid eggs, he’d probably like me a lot better than he does.

This is what gave me my idea. After telling Tristan I was to visit a far-off relative, I went to the local sorcerer, then bought a lovely birdcage and arranged for it to be delivered to him in the morning. I swallowed down my potion, transformed, flew into the cage and settled on the perch.

I woke the next day being jolted in transport. Tristan was so pleased to see me that I knew I’d made the right choice. He fed and watered me and gave me a shiny, tinkling toy. Best of all, he let me out to sit on his finger, his shoulder or even his head.

Imagine my shock when Tristan brought home another bird. When this male made his intentions known, I flew from the cage, then out the window. I made my way back to the sorcerer who, unsurprised, gave me another potion.

Sadder but wiser, I returned home to find Tristan distraught at the loss of his favourite pet. Tearfully, he told me he’d named her after me and showed me his masterpiece: Ode to Robyn. So, finally I’d got what I wanted; we billed and we cooed.


Susan Cornford is a retired public servant, living in Perth, Western Australia, with pieces published or forthcoming in 50-Word Stories, Akashic Books, Antipodean Science Fiction, CarpeArte Journal, Ghost Parachute, Medusa’s Laugh, Speculative 66, Subtle Fiction, Switchblade, The Fable Online, The Gambler and The Vignette Review. She considers herself an emerging flash writer.

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