Where to begin? I attended a “Writers” workshop in 2015. My take away….start blogging! What does one “blog” about? My Grandmother, “Gram” who would have been 100 years old this year, always said; “Tina Marie, you are such a magpie! You talk all the time and never know when to shut up!” I used to wonder, “what in the world is a magpie? I guess it’s me. I finally Googled it and lo and behold to my great surprise I discovered it’s a bird. Wow, how ironic, I love birds! So, yea Gram, I will own that title of magpie and be proud of it! Check it out Magpie singing
You know those “Do you have what it takes to write children’s books?” ads in magazines (I read magazines before I had a smartphone)? They used to pop off the page as if they were screaming, “It’s you! It’s you! Take the test and see.” I looked around the waiting room I was sitting in to see if anyone was looking at me and I ripped the page out of the magazine and tucked it into my purse. (you know you’ve done it too!)
One night when I could not sleep I found myself thinking about that ripped out magazine page in my purse. I stumbled out of bed and made my way to the computer and typed in the web address ready to take the test. The test simply asked me to write a short story from a memory I had from childhood. First thing that popped into my mind was the memory of my best friend, a parakeet bird. I told you I love birds! So I began to write and here’s what came out:
Petey; My Best Friend
My very best friend was a parakeet bird. His name was Petey. Petey was the most beautiful bird I had ever seen, a mix of brilliant yellow, green, and grey feathers.
Petey liked to sit on my shoulder while I walked around. I could tell Petey everything and anything. Every day after school, I would rush home to my room to see Petey. I would reach into his cage and excitedly say, “Hello Petey, I missed you today!” He would eagerly hop from his perch to my finger, puff up his chest, and chirp a warm “welcome home” to me.
One day, I came home and took Petey out of his cage. I went to the kitchen to get a snack and Petey followed me. He made his landing on the curtain rod above the kitchen sink. The kitchen smelled wonderful, a large pot of boiling spaghetti sauce was cooking on the stove. I reached for a wooden spoon and began to stir. As I bent my head over the pot to smell the sweet, spicy aroma, my older brother and his friends came into the kitchen whooping and hollering and swinging towels. They had just finished football practice. All of the noise frightened Petey! He let out a loud squawk and I heard the rush of his wings flapping wildly. I began to yell; “Stop it! You are scaring Petey.” Just as I was saying Petey’s name, I saw a swinging towel hit Petey. He lost control of where he was flying and began to fall downward toward the boiling spaghetti sauce. I frantically reached out to grab him but it was too late, Petey landed right in the red boiling sauce. I screamed as my brother reached in and pulled Petey out of the sauce and dropped him on the counter. I picked Petey up and thrust his whole body under cold running water. I cried and prayed as the water ran over Petey’s lifeless body. My grandmother came to my side. When she seen Petey and I told her between sobs what had happened, she took Petey from my hands and said Petey had been a good friend to me, loved me very much and he knew how much I loved him.
That evening, we put Petey’s body in a small cardboard box, and had a funeral service for him. We dug a small hole in Grandma’s flower garden and placed Petey, my best friend, in the ground and covered him up with dirt. As I stood there crying, my brother reached over and hugged me. He told me that he was sorry and then helped me make a cross out of popsicle sticks to place on Petey’s grave.
Each day when I came home from school, I stop by Petey’s grave, close my eyes and see Petey puff up his brilliant yellow and green feathered chest and if I listen real hard, I can almost hear him sing a warm “welcome home” to me.
Guess what? The score flashed on the computer screen and announced “I do have what it takes.” Really? This story would traumatize little kids!
That was more than 10 years ago and the desire to write has never left me.So blog I will and sing like a Magpie on a warm summers day!