Tiny stepped out of Willow Tree Cottage to greet another glorious day. Butterflies danced in the cool morning breeze, as the birds warmed up their vocal chords, and Mother-the-Sun was busy with her morning stretches. The birds were singing a strange new song, and Tiny cupped her ear to listen.
A crow in a nearby tulip tree let out a “caw, caw, caw!”
A reply came from the distance. “Craw, craw, craw!”
A third cry followed with a “cree, cree, cree!” Then another, and another; the calls fading like an echo in a sunlit cave. Tiny furrowed her brow. It sounded so unusual.
Before long, the mourning dove let out her sorrowful “coo, coo, coo,” to which the blue-jay responded with a “zeep, zeep, zeep!” Tiny felt a tingle in her chest. The birds were talking to one another!
Lottie robin fluttered to a stop beside her. “Want to take a ride, Tiny? It’s a beautiful day,” she trilled.
Tiny nodded, enchanted by the rising chorus, and slipped onto Lottie’s back. They landed on a nearby telephone wire, and Tiny watched her world from a bird’s-eye view. As she heard the tiny songs fold into one another, “ki, ki, kew! Pe, pe, pew!” her skin began to prickle. Her heart-bird let out a silent “la, la, laa.”
One by one, the birds stopped singing, and flew up to join them. They looked at her with expectant eyes. Tiny knew what they wanted. They wished for her to speak—to join their morning chant. She thought she understood what they were saying, but didn’t want to presume.
Tiny’s heart thumped faster, and her mouth felt dry. The silence was now deafening. She looked around her. The sun, the breeze, the birds, and the trees were all moving in harmony, all singing the same sweet song. In that moment, she knew what to do. Tiny cleared her throat, opened her mouth, and sang, “we are one!”
For Papa Leo and Leo Junior. Two of the greatest lions to walk these sacred lands.