Thursday, August 4, 2011

Free Bird

Once upon a time, there was a boy named Stray Dog.  Stray Dog had no family and no friends.  But Stray Dog owned the city.  Wherever Stray Dog wanted to go, he would go.  And whatever Stray Dog wanted to have, he would take.

This kind of lifestyle led Stray Dog into many fights.  And those fights left him with many scars.  But soon, after biting and fighting so many times, the beasts of the city jungle learned to leave Stray Dog alone.  And alone is what he thought he wanted.

One day, while sitting on top of a building, Stray Dog watched a new flock fly into his city.  He watched them from above while they gathered their things and made a nest.  Among this new flock was a girl named Free Bird.

Free Bird had a family, but couldn't find a home.  Every time she thought she could settle down, her family would leave and she would have to leave with them.  Her family would leave because the things they did were unnacceptable, and whenever they were discovered, they were forced to run.  Free Bird did not choose to do the thingts her flock did, but with no home, she had no choice but to stay with them, because she longed to belong.

When Stray Dog first saw Free Bird, he was immediately captivated by the look in her eyes.  More than anything he had ever wanted, he wanted her eyes to be for him.  So, being the way that Stray Dog was, he dropped fom the rooftop and approached Free Bird.

Free Bird noticed Stray Dog before the rest of her flock, and she went to greet him with kindness in her words.  But before introductions were concluded, her family swooped in and shooed Stray Dog away.  They did not want him near Free Bird.  They did not trust Stray Dog.

In most cases, Stray Dog would have started a fight, but because he did not wasnt to scare Free Bird off, he slunk away, back into the depths of his lonely city.  That night, Stray Dog would return to Free Bird's window, and ask to be let in.

After Free Bird let Stray Dog in, Stray Dog let Free Bird out.  He taught her how to sneak away into the dark night and showed her how to run in the city without fear or uncertainty.  Free Bird twittered in excitement and Stray Dog barked in delight.  The two young animals lost all their inhibitions and soon found that they were in love.

But love had its price.

The beasts of the jungle saw that Stray Dog had a new weakness; a weakness for Free Bird.  And so, to hurt him, they followed Free Bird's flock and uncovered all of their bad secrets.

When Free Bird returned home, she found that her family was packing all of their belongings and preparing to fly away.  Free Bird did not want to go, but she was given no choice.  When she tried to run, the flock clipped her wings and held her in a cage.

Stray Dog watched from the shadows and wanted to rescue Free Bird, but he knew she would not forgive him if he hurt her family, so he had t otrack down the beasts instead.  Stray Dog thought that if he could kill the beasts, Free Bird's family might stay.

He followed the trail of the beasts' scent to their lair and he fought, bit and scratched until everything was destroyed.  The house was burnt down and, in the morning, only charred bones were left to be found.  The beasts of the jungle could no longer hurt anyone, but during the battle, Stray Dog was injured grievously.

It took Stray Dog a while to lick his wounds and return to Free Bird's nest to tell her that she didn't have to leave.  But when he got there, the house was empty.  All that was left behind was one feather attached to a note, and the letter read...

"My beloved Stray Dog, I regret that I could not stay, but sometimes that's just the way things are.  I wish that I could be brave like you and make a home on my own, but we are not the same.  I cannot leave my family.  I am not a free bird.  Goodbye..."

Stray Dog read the note twice and then ripped it in half and left it on the road.  He snapped the feather too, and tossed it in the street.  He left the house and went to find something to eat.  He went about his day as regular as ever.  His heart did not crack, nor did a single tear fall.

Because his heart had already been broken, and his tears ha already run dry.  He had loved and lost before.  This was nothing new to him.  This was life.

He roamed his city home and chased pigeons in the street, not allowing himself to mourn over his once loved Free Bird.  What did you expect?  He was a stray dog.


  1. That's really nice. Simple sentences that don't try to get all flowery, and nice pacing.

  2. Reminds me of the book "Maniac McGee"... great read.

  3. I pictured cutesy animated characters from shows like Animaniacs as I read this, which mad the sorrowful ending all the more difficult to digest. Good stuff though. If you really are as young as you appear in your picture you seem to have quite a grasp on love/loss as well as talent with the written word.

  4. Good read. I like your voice. It definitely shows in this piece.


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poems and thoughts by E.A. Skanchy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License