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The birds and the trees

by Sophia Lipton

The birds flitted among the branches, diving and twirling in time with each other. The sun was out and graced their wings with gold. Leaves lay in heaps on the ground, leaving the trees naked. The leaves were green and healthy. Their stems ripped and frayed. Other than the occasional song or rustle, it was quiet.


The trees were tall. They would tower if they had anything to tower over, but they did not. The most accurate word would be gargantuan. At the top of the tallest tree, branches scratched the clouds. The birds were very small compared to the trees, though they scratched the clouds too. The bird’s nests were sparse and mostly empty. Now was the time for flying. If you were to count there would be one hundred. They did not band together neither did they abandon. It was an art the way they kept the same amount of distance between each other even while they soared.


As long as the sun was above the horizon, they flew. Flew as high and as low as the could, but they never flew away. When the sun started to disappear, so did the birds. Landing in their nests, they burrowed tightly into the sturdy structures. Darkness fell slowly, and the stars arrived quickly. They filled the sky as the birds had done and lighted the trees with a soft glow.


For a few moments it was silent, very silent. Then the creaking, and the bending. Roots burst and slithered out from the soil, planting themselves firmly on top of the land. Branches stretched up towards the stars, twisting around trunks. They reached back far and after they could reach no further, the trunks bent down and reached toward their roots. Paradoxically liquid movements, like a dancer at half-speed. Not a single nest detached itself as the trees awoke, the birds nowhere to be seen.


At first, finding a pattern, would have been an impossible feat, but, eventually, the trees found themselves one in front of the other, paired up. Branches curled and trunks bent, a bow of some sort or another. They danced. Without music, elegantly and slowly. Bits of them breaking off to fall to the ground as they twirled effortlessly and entirely without thought.


I stood at the edge, looking up, awestruck and teary eyed till the sun came up and they stopped. Taking their old places or new ones, I could not say. As yellow light replaced silver and the birds filled the air once again, streaming out pleasantly, I found that I had not moved during the night and I found that I did not want to, so I did not. I watched day and night, night and day. Studying, absorbing, appreciating, and growing. Growing until one day, I did not have to look up to watch the birds and the trees.

Young writer Sophia Lipton is an avid reader and rock climber. In between training and school, she works on various pieces of flash fiction, much of it strange and not entirely based on this reality. Without any previous publications, she hopes to gain constructive experience in the world of writing.

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June 2019

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