The lonely boy wore red to attract hummingbirds. He stood beside the feeder for hours some days, reaching out to grab the emerald and ruby birds. He felt their hearts, which fluttered like moths in his hand. He watched their beaks, needles sewing invisible thread, as the birds struggled.
He never held them too long nor too tightly. There were hundreds he couldn’t catch. He kept hoping he would find Anna, who hatched in the thimble-sized nest outside his window. He missed her. All he had to remember her by was two halves of a tiny white egg.
© Copyright 2016 Karen Rothboeck. All rights reserved.
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Since retiring, Karen Rothboeck has enjoyed having time to write. Her stories appear in Write Around Whidbey, an anthology published by the Whidbey Writers Group.
8 thoughts on “The Bird Catcher by Karen Rothboeck”
Beautiful and poignant.
Sweet. It brought back memories of a hummingbird nest in my backyard light fixture. Lovely story.
Quite touching. I’m sure Anna found him.
What a nice twist that would be (but maybe another 50 words).
I agree, poignant.
Very sweet. Glad it didn’t take a turn into something from “Of Mice and Men”. Was almost afraid to the end in case the bird ended up squished. I picture not just a child in this scene, but a childlike, mentally slow adult. Quite sad actually.
Well done. Written with delicacy, thoughtfulness, and precision. Nice job of painting a small moment, an intimate tableau, with a rich character.