Every new year I struggle to throw away last year’s calendar, to abandon the colours that have kept me company each month. So this year I truly recycled – snipping free little replicas of 18th century birds. These are the ones that got away – the ones that want to tell their stories before they go.
When I search online to find any details of that calendar I find nothing but dead links – to all intents and purposes those birds of 2012 are extinct. But I remember them, larger and sharper than these clippings suggest – hung on a hook above the study radiator. Pages lifting and falling and curling slightly in the updraught - even in two dimensions they longed to fly.
I am the bird above the blue bird. You don’t need to know my name or anything much about me. My feathers come in a handful of colours so I fit well in most social situations and adapt easily to everyday avian requirements. Not so my friend below.
He is a bird of a discontented hue. Every time he perches nearby his pips and trills are filled with how he has spent much of his morning flying cloud-high only to close his wings and free-fall, eyes closed – pretending to be a raindrop.
He tells me too how tomorrow he plans to fly two miles out over the sea, then will his feathers to turn to scales, his wings to fins so he can dive right in.
Some birds weren’t meant to be hatched blue.