The Cardinal's Chirp This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

August 19, 2012
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I walk into the park and sit on a bench. I am now retired and have nothing to do but die. I feel the wind and smell the air and I start to open my book. I am intrigued and the book is fascinating, I want to read more. My mind is active and the pages keep flipping until I reach the end. The book is finished and I close the back cover and a quick thought reached its way into my brain. The cardinal. Where is it? Is it okay? Let me explain. The Cardinal was one of my best friends. It all started one Saturday.

I was five and I was enjoying the breeze and looking at what the clouds had to offer. Mom had called me in for lunch but I had ignored her and I listened to the chirp. I had seen a little red bird high in a tree looking at me curiously. I wondered about the bird for the next two minutes and then I heard its chirp again. It squealed, beeped, and chirped away and I wondered what it was trying to say. I didn't speak bird so didn't’t know. Now mom was screaming and yelling so I ran inside. The bird had now flown away. I wondered if I would ever see it again.

I’m now 16 and I’m running through football drills at practice. A starting running back needs his exercise. I stopped for a second, out of breathe, and there he was again.
His chirp was so loud that it was heard across towns and I loved to hear it. I wondered if it was the same one- It couldn’t be. Could it? The coach saw me looking aimlessly into a tree and I had to continue running. Soon practice was over and I was glad it was. I was soon home and I ran to my room and looked out the window and wondered if I would ever see it again.

I’m now thirty-five with a job and kids and loving my life how it is. One night I was stuck overtime with a stack of paper work that seemed to never end. I am a very religious man so I prayed for help. Then I heard a slight chirp from the window and I looked. I thought my eyes were deceiving me but what I saw was true. The red little bird which I can now identify as a cardinal was looking at me again with curiosity. I knew it was that one I had seen all my life and I relaxed and listened to the chirp. I now had enough determination to get through my work. It flew away silently but I wanted it to stay. There I was again at the window wondering if I would ever see it again.

It showed up once more after my retirement party and again I heard its chirp. I knew it was the same one every time because its chirp was different from other cardinals. I have told my children about it and they seem not to believe me, considering that I have moved many times in my life. But I believe it is the same one. I also believe that if I continue to believe in it, the bird will continue to show and give me its beautiful chirp. It is late at night and everyone has left and I am still listening to the chirp. My heart told me to say hello so I did. The pitch of the birds chirp changed and I think for once that it said hello back. It flew away and I started crying, wondering if I would ever see it again.

I am now seventy- five and I am leaving the park. I’m glad that I finished the book and I plan to purchase another one. I keep thinking about the bird. You see this bird was my friend and it didn’t need words for me to hear what it said, all I needed was its song. God gives us many gifts in this world and one of them is my cardinal. That’s why I thank God for the love, strength, hope, determination in this world, and the cardinal’s chirp.

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ChrisJ This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm
Thank you alot, it means alot to me as a fellow writer. Please make sure to read some more of my pieces and I will be sure to read yours!
so_joy said...
Dec. 12, 2012 at 11:02 am
That was beautiful :) I loved it! I completely agree with AuntK. Great job! Please read, rate, and comment on my poems! It would mean a lot :) Thanks!
AuntK said...
Sept. 3, 2012 at 9:57 am
Chris, you are a very gifted writer. There is a very wise concept in this piece, and a good message. May we all find our red cardinal in this world.
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