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Flamingo | Kestrel's Aerie

Flamingo | Kestrel's Aerie


In Monday’s post, I mentioned some writing friends and I had started using Google’s Wave to discuss writing. One of those Waves is a prompt that Breana puts up each day. Yesterday’s story, “The People,” was the result of one of those prompts (the prompt word was “dweller,” incidentally).

Today’s prompt was “drab,” and Tami wrote a “flash fiction” you should take a look at before you read my story. So head over there now, then come back. (The link opens in a separate tab/window, so you won’t lose your place here.)

Welcome back! Without further delay, enjoy “Flamingo.”

I pulled into the parking space, turned off the engine, and got out of the car.
As my daughter emerged from the passenger seat, she sighed and muttered, “I feel like a sparrow competing against flamingos.”
I walked around to the other side of the car. “Don’t pout, Marianne,” I said, and patted her shoulder. “You’re not in a ballet recital, you’re competing for a choir spot. And everyone knows flamingos have terrible singing voices.”
She gave me “that look” that every teenaged daughter in the world has, at one time or another, given her father. Not quite a frown, not quite a glare, it’s the visual equivalent of a deep sigh of resignation or frustration.
I grinned at her, put my index finger under her chin, and tilted her head up so our eyes met. “Honk! Honk!” I exclaimed, in my best imitation of a flamingo. I confess, I was going for a sound that was more orange, like the flamingos we’d seen in Florida last summer, but I don’t think I quite pulled that off.
However, Marianne’s mouth made a small movement that presaged a smile. Progress, I thought. I grinned again, put my hands on my hips to mimic flamingo wings, and began honking to the Figaro song from The Barber of Seville.
I saw Marianne looking a bit past me, and I realized that all the other arriving hopefuls (and assorted parents) had stopped to watch the spectacle. I’m really not sure what came over me, but I turned to a nearby group and began to sing…er, honk…to them. They weren’t sure whether to laugh or ignore me, but I noticed that Marianne, at least, had started to smile.
So maybe I’m crazy…but I like to think I’m crazy like a fox.
I finished my flamingo aria, then pulled my daughter into my arms and gave her a long, hard hug, and whispered into her ear, “Your feathers may be drab, little sparrow, but your voice is incredible. You go sing those pink ninnies under the table.”
She put her arms around me, hugging me back just as firmly, and whispered back, “Thanks, Dad. I needed that.”
With that, my suddenly very-grown-up young lady flashed another smile, and turned to walk into the square brick building that housed Madame Ontario’s Choral College. I wasn’t sure if she’d win the coveted scholarship with her audition, but I did know she’d be the most beautiful-sounding sparrow in the auditorium.
Besides, orange just isn’t a color that suits her.

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