Wind Song - Page 5

The woman stood in the door of the attic and sighed. Gray and dusty in the half light, the room was filled with old furniture, boxes and a thousand forgotten memories. She had inherited its contents from her grandmother and now faced the chore of deciding the fate of each piece. Attracted to an old sewing machine, so old that it had a foot treadle, she opened the top drawer. Amidst the buttons and needles and scissors was a tiny bundle of lace neatly tied with ribbon. Curious she picked it up and unwrapped it. To her surprise she found she was unfolding the burial cloth of a canary, its body long ago dried up but carefully preserved. Holding it in her right hand she stared, perplexed, and quite unconsciously put her left hand over her heart.


This story was inspired by an article I read in a magazine years ago. Inheriting her grandmother's sewing machine (who had been a pioneer in one of the plains states), the author of that article found the wrapped body of a canary in one of its drawers. Intrigued she had done research, discovering just how much the pioneers had loved these little birds. The article included the photograph of a prairie cabin with three cages of canaries hanging from its eaves.

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