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Thursday, April 28, 2011

afternoon chores

One day Xu Bao was walking home from school.  He saw a bird, grounded and limping, trying to cross the street.  A car ran over one of its wings and it cried out right at Xu Bao.  It frightened him so much that he dropped his books.  He ran to the curb and called, "Come here, bird," to coach it off the street.  It made it, just narrowly evading a bus, and hobbled onto the sidewalk.  It walked to Xu Bao, flitted its eyes at him for a moment, then fell over dead.

Xu Bao was not that surprised.  He put the bird in his backpack and went home.  He did his chores for the day: climbed onto a chair to was dishes in the sink, swept with the severed bottom half of a broom.  While he swept around his mother in the living room and she dodged her head to either side of Xu Bao to stay in contact with the TV, Xu Bao looked it his bag where he had left it just inside the front door.  He knew it was a mistake to leave it there, that she could find the bird if she looked in, but he couldn't move it without drawing more attention.

Before dinner he went to his room.  He stuffed the bird into the curtain that was cinched together at the side of his window.  The next day he pried up a floor board and hid the bird there.  He would check in on it every few days and laugh.

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