There is a little bird in our second grade class. She comes every day with all the students. Petite, nay tiny, with big shiny brown eyes, her little voice twitters through the general disturbance of distracted 8 year-olds. She perches on her little seat, cocking her fluffy head at me as I teach, and laughingly trilling out whenever even the slightest bit amused by any situation. She can have a rather stormy temperament though, and will glare and sulk on a moment’s notice, even throw things to the floor or strike out with her feet when particularly peeved. A little petting and cool water usually suffice to calm her down again though.
“I can fly! I can fly!” She has said to me more times than I can count, hopping from one tiny foot to the other as she furiously flaps her outstretched arms, a strange determination masking her pixy face. She’s quick to dissolve into giggles though as soon as I hoist her up in my arms and spin her around. And if I tickle her, she dissolves into a little heap of bubbling laughter at my feet, unable to support herself in the face of my friendly attack. In those moments, her featherless wings turn into wispy human arms again, with no thought in her head for anything save the shear delight of playing and being silly.
She is still a little bird though, however much I try to bring her back to earth. She is determined to fly. Someday she probably will.