A PLEASANT DISCOVERY
By Neel Anil Panicker
It was late by the time Vikki and his friend Inder left the forest and headed to their homes.
“Shall we take the short cut?”, Vikki asked as the skies darkened above them. Somewhere far off the cumulus clouds rumbled.
In the fading light, Inder looked into the eyes of his best friend, and nodded.
The two knew what that meant. They’d have to cross the abandoned airport, the one they’d heard was populated by ghosts.
The eighth grade students, though having seen an apparition ever in their short lives, had heard enough grandmother tales to ensure a chill run up their spine.
Vikki nodded his head.
The two walked quietly, albeit slightly hurriedly, nimble feet skirting past huge boulders and thick marshy growth as they navigated their way out of the clearing.
A hundred yards ahead, Inder suddenly stopped,
his fingers pointing towards a hollowed out patch of green. They had just about reached the tarmac.
“What’s it?”, asked Vikki, a tad irritatingly.
“Shshsh…wait…did you hear that?”
Vikki too pressed his ears to the ground.
Seconds later, the two boys heard it____a distinct bird sound, more of a squeal, a short intermittent wailing sound.
The two slowly inched their way closer.
There, half hidden and surrounded by bushes was a little bird.
“It’s a magpie,” whispered Inder.
“It’s hurt”, he added, as the kept staring at the bird.
Vikki opened his mouth to say something but his friend beat him to it.
“I know what you’re thinking. If we leave her here, she’s sure to die. Why don’t we take her home, nurse her till she’s fit enough to fly”.
Even before Vikki had nodded his approval Inder had scooped the little bird off the ground and was striding forward towards home.
Vikki followed suit, a bird song already playing on his lips.
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