Olivia Hardy, class of 2022

There is a place where the skies touch the earth, it is a beautiful place. Where the birds fly high above the clouds. One morning the feather of a bird dropped to the ground. Footsteps sounded nearby, soon, out of the single shrub to the corner, a beautiful white-tailed deer stepped out, she was a mother. She trotted to the center of the clearing cautiously, in the center of the single shrub, a snout stuck out, a small snout.

“Mommy? Is it safe?” squeaked the little snout.

“Sweetheart, it’s fine,” said the kind, sweet voice of the momma deer.

The snout disappeared behind the shrub and reappeared behind it. This time it had a body to it. A small shape with beautiful green eyes, ears perked, tail standing, the mother figure walked toward her baby and licked her between the ears. The little deer caught sight of a cardinal feather, the feather was long, dark, and arrow-pointed. The little deer watched curiously as the feather floated down near the earth’s surface. Though the apple-red fluff didn’t land on the soft chilling grass of the evening, it simply floated by as the wind dragged it along. The little deer trotted alongside it as her mother reared up behind her. As the little deer looked up, there were feathers showering down all over her, a green and blue bird swooped past her face, and it went directly to the tree that had bark peeling off of it.

“Excuse me, what are you?” said the deer.

“Me?” said the bird in a Brazilian accent. “Why, I’m a Honeycreeper.”

“What are you doing?”

“Eating, well of course.”

“What are you eating?”

“Nectar and insects.”

“Is it good?”

“Good as it’ll ever get.”

The deer sat there staring at the bird for a minute. Then she finally spoke up, “I’m Tallis, I live over there,” said the little deer pointing with her snout in the west direction of the forest.

The bird gave no reply, but after a moment of eating she squawked, The name’s Avis.” As the bird spoke a screeching call came from above—there was a bird circling the tree tops. Tallis was thinking it was time for Avis to go, when she looked back at the bark peeling tree, there was only some insects left. Flying high into the sky, Tallis watched until Avis was only a green blur in the autumn light. Tallis walked towards her mother, who was eating berries, and together they disappeared into the undergrowth.