Birdy and the other bird

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Birdy and parrot

Written by Bertie

Birdy and the other bird
This is Jana and welcome to Storynory! Birdy is a rather special crow who can talk. He’s befriended a boy called Jake, who thinks that Birdy is unique - a true one off - until, well listen to the story and find out. And at the end of the story we have a bonus, an excerpt from our friends at the Stories, Science and Secrets podcast.

Jake is a lucky boy. He sometimes enjoys two bedtime stories: one from his dad and another told by his best friend, Birdy, the black crow who perches on his window pane.
One evening, while Dad was reading The Wind in the Willows, the full moon shone brightly above the rooftops across the street. As his father gently closed the book and tiptoed out of the room, Jake piped up:
“Dad, has anyone ever visited the moon? I know Birdy’s been up there, but have any human people actually walked on the moon?”
“Why, yes,” said Dad. “In 1969 infact, Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon’s surface, saying, ‘That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.’ And a few years later, another astronaut played golf up there.”
“Who was he playing against? The man on the moon?” Jake asked, his eyes twinkling with mischief.
“Oh nooo,”Dad chuckled. He was just having some fun.”
Jake nodded and closed his eyes. As Dad quietly lowered the door handle to leave, Jake had another question:
“Dad, how do we know it’s true that those guys went to the moon? I mean, how do we know they didn’t just make it all up, like a story?”
“Well,” said Dad, pausing, “we have to trust our eyes—we saw it on TV and read about it in the news. But actually, some people think it was all staged in a TV studio.”
“I bet they did that,” said Jake.
Dad smiled. “I think it’s simplest to believe that they did what they said they did. If it were all just a fake story, many people would have to be in on the lie, wouldn’t they.”
“Yeah, I suppose so,” said Jake. “Because a lot of people think I made up Birdy.”
“Do they? Like who?” Dad asked, shaking his head, seeming surprised.
“Well like Elle!”
“Well, she is your sister. You should expect her to be the last person to back you up. It’s called sibling rivalry.”
“Oh, okay,” said Jake. “You can go now because it’s time for Birdy to turn up.”
“Sweet dreams,” said Dad smiling as he closed the door softly behind him.
Birdy turned up five minutes later than usual. When he hopped into the room, Jake asked, “Where have you been?”
“Oh, just up to the moon, to collect a bit of moon dust.”
“Is it true that a human once played golf up there?”
“Sure did.”
“How do you know it’s true?”
“I was on the moon when he was practising his swing. His name was Alan, Alan Shepard, and he hit a golf ball for miles and miles. I flew off to fetch it so he could keep it as a souvenir.”
“Wow, that’s cool,” said Jake. “And did you see the guy who made a big leap?”
“Nah, that was the first bloke on the moon. I had a cold and stayed at home at that time. I watched him on TV, though.”

“So that one might have been TV trickery?”
“It could all have been,” agreed Birdy.
Jake thought for a while. “Birdy,” he said eventually, “how do I know that you are real? My sister says you are a figment of my imagination.”
“Caw! What a cheek! I’m not a figment. I’m a crow!”
“But are you a real crow?” He asked with a cheeky grin.
“Sure, I’m scientifically proven to be real. I’m as real as the moon or the stars!”
Jake fell asleep happy. Real or not, there was only one Birdy! Or at least that’s what he thought.
The next day at school, a boy called Emil told stories about a bird who could talk and do puzzles.
Jake felt a flicker of annoyance mixed with disbelief. Emil must have heard about Jake’s friendship with Birdy and was trying to copy him.
“A talking bird that does puzzles?” Jake asked, raising an eyebrow. “Really? Because I’ve got a friend called Birdy, who’s been on the moon.”
Emil looked at him sceptically. “Sure, and my bird can do tricks, too,” he replied with a hint of challenge.
Their classmates gathered around. Sensing the rising attention, Jake needed to defend Birdy’s honour.
“Okay, how about this? Let’s prove it. You bring your bird to school, and I’ll bring Birdy. We’ll see who’s telling the truth,” Jake proposed.
“That’s a deal,” Emil agreed quickly, with a grin that rattled Jake’s confidence.
But it turned out that you weren’t allowed to bring pets to school, so Jake and Emil had to ask their mums to arrange play dates so they could verify their talking birds.
That evening, when Birdy called to bid Jake goodnight, Jake told him all about Emil and his talking bird. “So Birdy, when he comes over for the play date, you’ve got to prove that you’re real and can talk and do magic and stuff. That’ll shock him!”
“Caw! I don’t know about that,” said Birdy. “I don’t want any publicity. Before you know it, every Tom, Dick and Sally will want to take a selfie with me! I’ll never get a moment’s peace.”
“But Birdy!” pleaded Jake. “If you don’t talk, Emil will tell everyone I made you up as a fib!”
Birdy put his head on one side before saying, “Well, I’ll see how I feel about it on the day.”
The first playdate was the following Wednesday after school at Jake’s house. Birdy was nowhere to be seen, but that wasn’t surprising because he usually turned up later in the evening.
Emil was very polite and did not ask about Jake’s talking bird. At first, it was just a normal playdate: they kicked a ball in the garden before eating some bread and jam and then they played computer games. But all the time, Jake felt uneasy and thought, “I wonder if Birdy’s going to show up?”
The doorbell rang. It was the pizza boy delivering supper - so they ran downstairs. While they were enjoying their dessert of cookies and ice cream, Jake’s mum received a text to say that Emil’s mum would be over to collect him in 20 minutes. Jake looked at his watch. It was getting on for half past 6.
“Birdy will be here soon,” he said hopefully. “He always comes to my room after supper.”
But in his heart, he was not entirely confident. Emil followed him up to his room. No bird was waiting on the windowsill.
“I expect he’ll be here soon,” said Jake a little apprehensively. Emil nodded. They decided to play Virtual Toboggan while waiting for Birdy.
Jake handed the VR Goggles over to Emil. As soon as the headsets slipped over their eyes, the world transformed. They were thrust onto a snowy mountain course, the cold wind virtually whipping against their faces as they navigated the toboggan at breakneck speeds. Each twist and turn of the course was both terrifying and exhilarating.
So, it was only when they reached the bottom of the mountain that Jake removed his headset. His reality returned to the bedroom, and at last he saw his friend waiting for him on the windowsill.
“Birdy!” he called out.
“Cawwww!” responded Birdy.
“Birdy, this is Emil, the boy I told you about. Can you show him how you can talk?”
“Cawwww!” repeated Birdy, hopping on one leg.
Emil laughed -not in a cruel way. He really seemed enchanted by Birdy’s friendly behaviour. But Jake was frustrated. He wanted to prove that he hadn’t been fibbing about Birdy talking.
“Oh, go on!” he said. “Just a few words. Emil can keep a secret, can’t you, Emil?”
“Of course,” replied Emil.
Birdy turned his head from side to side, looking at them both. Then he flapped his wings and said, “Alright then, what would you like me to say?”
Astonished, Emil’s jaw dropped to the floor. “Did he say that? How did you do that? He can’t be real.”
“Of course I’m real.”
“Oh yes, of course, I didn’t mean to be rude,” said Emil, still smiling. “And Jake said you can do magic?”
Just then, the doorbell rang. The boys knew it was Emil’s mother.
“Birdy, please there’s not much time,” pleaded Jake. “Show Emil what you can do.”
“Time doesn’t matter. How would you boys like an adventure?”
“Oh yes,” they both agreed.
“So, think of someone in History you want to meet.”
“The guy who played golf on the moon,” said Jake.
“Naaaa, he’s boring. Who in all history would you like to meet Emil?”
And Emil replied right away, “Robin Hood!”
“Done. Wait a moment,” said Birdy. And he coughed—not just coughed, but coughed up magic moondust, filling the room with a special light. When the dust vanished, they were in the clearing in the woods. A group of men wearing green tunics stood around the fire, roasting meat on a spit.
Birdy flew over and landed on the head of the largest man. The others laughed at seeing a bird sitting on their friend’s head. And one of them said:
“Well, Hello, Birdy, we haven’t seen you for ages!”
“Caw!” said Birdy, “I’ve been a long way away in the future, and I’ve brought a couple of lads who learned about you in school. They’d like to meet you.”
Jake and Emil walked over to the fire. “Are you really Robin Hood?” Emil asked.
“That’s how I’m known around here,” replied the man.
“And that’s Little John!” exclaimed Jake.
“Did you know that you’re even more famous where we come from, hundreds of years into the future?”
“No, we didn’t know that,” said Robin. “But Birdy always has something new to teach us. Now, what can we do for you two lads.”
They both thought. “Oh, I know,” said Jake, “Can you teach us to shoot a bow and arrow like you do?”
“Ofcourse I can!” said Robin.
His long bow was leaning against a tree. It was much taller than Jake or Emil. “I don’t suppose this will do,” he said, “but fortunately, I made a smaller bow for Marrion. Will you fetch Marrion’s bow? And Friar Tuck has a small bow too—go and find his.
The bows were just the correct sizes for the boys. Robin showed them how to fit the arrows. Will Scarlet helped Jake and Little John steadied Emil’s aim.
Even though they were small bows, it still took all their strength to bend them. They were aiming at the trunk of an oak tree. At first, Emil and Jake could not fire the arrows more than a few yards, and they shot out in every direction. Eventually, with Robin’s help, they both shot arrows near-ish to the target. Then Emil managed to hit the trunk! He was delighted. After a few more loose shots, Jake hit it, too.
“Well Done, lads!” declared Robin. “You’ll make fine bandits!”
They were both incredibly pleased with themselves.
“I think we’d better be going, though.”
So, after a lot of goodbyes with the Merry Men and congratulations on their shooting skills, Birdy coughed up some more moondust, and they returned to the bedroom. A few moments later, Emil’s mum popped her head round the door and said, “Have you boys had a nice time?”
“Nice! It was amazing!” replied Emil.
“Oh, that’s good to hear,” said his mum. “What did you do?”
“Can’t say. It is top secret. And in any case, you wouldn’t believe it was true,” said Emil.
“Well, okay, then, Mr. Secret. It’s time to find your bag and get going. We’ll see Jake Wednesday at our place.
The boys were now firm friends at school. But Emil did not say anything about his talking bird, and Jake did not ask. The following Wednesday, Emil’s mother picked the boys up after school, as agreed, and went to Emil’s house.
As Jake walked into the living room, a cage immediately caught his eye, in which sat a beautiful big blue parrot.
Meet Zazu,” Emil introduced with a grin. “He talks a bit—though not quite like your Birdy.”
After some gentle coaxing and a few curious peeks from his cage, the parrot tilted his head, looked around with bright eyes, and finally spoke. “Is it Friday yet?”
Emil chuckled. “No, Zazu, it’s still Wednesday.”
Zazu ruffled his feathers, sighed dramatically, and squealed loudly, “Cawwwwww! Then wake me up when it’s the weekend!”
The boys both laughed. After that, Zazu refused to say anything else. He was more concerned about playing with his favourite toy. The toy required him to slide coloured blocks through a maze to release a tasty treat hidden at the end. As Zazu finally nudged the last block into place and claimed his reward—a juicy red berry—he tossed it up with his beak and caught it mid-air.
Both boys cheered and clapped and then went to play computer games. Jake, of course, realised that there had been a misunderstanding. Emil hadn’t been telling fibs at all; he had just been talking about his pet parrot, who was indeed very intelligent, but he had never actually claimed he was extraordinary. He could speak, but only a few random phrases that he had been taught. Still, he was a pretty cool bird.
But then, when it was time to go, Jake went to the parrot’s cage and said: “Bye-bye, Zazu.”
Zazu peered at Jake and suddenly said, “Lovely to meet you, Jake.”
Emil nearly jumped out of his skin. “I can’t believe he just said that. He called you Jake! It's a miracle!”
Jake shrugged his shoulders. “Birdy says, nature is a miracle.”
And that was ‘Birdy and the other Bird’
Read by me Jana at Storynory.com
Come back soon for more stories.. Bye bye for now!

Thank you Birdy And before we go, we have a little bonus. This is an explosive excerpt from the Stories Science and Secrets Podcast ! The podcast is made by friends of ours here in the UK, and we think you’ll love it.

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