You can find Part 3 of The Christmas Bird here: https://bakeandwrite.co.za/shortstory-christmas-the-christmas-bird-part-3/

As all lovely and nice things do, the holiday came to an end after two wonderful weeks of sea and sunshine. The day before the family was due to travel home was filled with anxiety for Stella and Beth. Hoopie had disappeared. He did not come when they called for him and they had not seen him for a couple of days. The girls took turns standing in the garden and calling for him but it was looking as if they would have to leave him behind when they traveled the next day.

Stella felt very sad. She had grown very attached to this funny little bird and didn’t want to leave him behind in a place so very far away. She had a fitful night, tossing and turning, and got up very early the next morning. She went outside while Father was packing the car in one last attempt to find Hoopie.

Suddenly he appeared. Gliding effortlessly out of a nearby tree and landing on her shoulder just like he always did. Stella managed to walk back into the house and get him into his basket before he could take off again.

What a relief. The family set off on the long drive home feeling much happier that they had their delightful little bird safely in his basket.

Everyone was happy to be home. Holidays are always lovely but there is nothing in the world as good as your own home and bed. Hoopie seemed as happy as the girls were to be back home and spent the first few days back home happily drilling in his attic. It wasn’t long before he started flying out of the window and disappearing for hours at a time again.

One morning, Stella stood calling Hoopie when unexpectedly there were two. Hoopie had found a mate. His lady friend did not come close to Stella but watched from a distance as Hoopie said his goodbye. That was the last time Hoopie came close to Stella but the girls would occassionaly see him in the distance, foraging for insects and making his call to advertise his ownership of this territory.

Stella knew that a wild bird is not like a dog and does not form lasting relationships with humans. It was a little sad to see him go but she was happy that the little bird that the family had rescued from near death had lived to rejoin nature and continue the cycle of life.

The end

This is my last post for 2018. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2019!