Once upon a time, there was a little girl called Gayatri. She was very kind hearted and loved all forms of nature. There was a park right outside Gayatri’s house and every evening, after finishing her homework, she would go there, sit under the big mango tree and read a book. One day, while she was reading, she suddenly saw a bird’s egg falling rapidly. She moved aside quickly and caught the egg and placed it carefully on the soft grass, beside her.

Suddenly, a bird swooped down and sat down on the egg. She screeched so loudly that Gayatri got scared and ran back to her house!

That night, as Gayatri was reading her story book in bed, she heard a tapping sound on the window pane. She got a fright. But bravely, she climbed out of her bed and went to check. When she pulled the curtains, she saw the same blue bird holding a letter in her beak. It seemed as if the bird was waiting for Gayatri. So, Gayatri opened the window and put out her hand for the letter. The bird dropped the letter in Gayatri’s hand and flew away. This was so strange!

Gayatri opened the letter and began to read.

“ Dear little girl,( began the letter)

Thank you for saving my egg this morning. I am sorry I scared you with my loud screeching. You see, when my egg fell out of the nest, I was sure it would break, but you held it so tenderly. I am a blue verditer flycatcher and my name is Neeli. I have three chicks and my fourth chick will hatch in a day or two.

With love,

Neeli”

Gayatri and the blue bird - Tarasvi Puri , 10 years

As soon as Gayatri finished reading the letter, she began screaming in excitement. She forgot that it was night. Her parents came running out of their room and asked her what had happened. She did not know what to say so she said nothing and went back to her room. Her parents were relieved and they too went back to sleep.

But that night, Gayatri could not sleep. There were so many questions turning around in her head.

Why did the bird give a letter?

Why did the bird not speak?

How could the bird write?

Is the bird someone’s pet?

Gayatri tossed and turned all night long and as soon as the alarm rang at 6 a.m. she wore her slippers and ran to the park. She sat down under the same tree and waited patiently for the blue bird. Gayatri did not have to wait long.

There was a rustling sound in the branches of the mango tree and suddenly the bird swooped down. Gayatri opened her mouth to scream, but the bird put one wing to her beak and said, ”Shhhhhhh…..my fourth chick hatched last night. All my babies are sleeping now.”

Gayatri pinched herself to check if she was dreaming. She wasn’t. The bird was still speaking.

“We can talk. In fact, all animals, birds and even insects can talk, but they do not talk with humans because they are greedy and will kill us. Then they will show off and tell everyone that they had killed a talking animal or bird.”

“Then why did you start talking to me?” asked Gayatri in surprise.

“You saved my egg. You are a kind girl”, replied the girl.

From that day, both mother bird and Gayatri had a secret to keep.

Then Gayatri asked,” What are the baby birds’ names?”

“As they are all girls I have decided on  Sweet, Sour, Bitter and Salty”, replied the bird.

“Those are strange names. What made you choose these names?” asked Gayatri.

“Well, one of my chick’s expression is sweet, the second’s is sour, the third’s is bitter and the fourth’s is salty,” giggled the bird.

That day, a beautiful relationship between a bird and a human was born!

Gayatri and the blue bird
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