The Bird and the Forgotten
I thought today I would post a short tale that I wrote for another blog, another time, illustrated with a lovely painting by Miki
The Bird and The Forgotten
The great train grumbled into Braunschweig station, almost reluctant to break its journey through the heartland of Eastern Germany. Grey green, grey green, it went, the sprawling farmlands contrasting sharply with the gunmetal urban decay of its forgotten towns.
I sat in my compartment, contemplating the day. A long day, filled with the miasma of endless travel that would take me from post-communist poverty to the sun-kissed shores of Spain. Eventually.
After a cursory glance along the platform, I returned my gaze to the novel I had wisely brought along to forestall the boredom, when suddenly a soft thud and a flurry of feathers in my peripheral vision caused me to look outside.
A tiny, imperceptible mark on the carriage window was the only clue…..I looked down and saw a still, feathered form on the platform.
Then, slowly, very slowly, it began to regain its wits, and sat, stunned, alone and abandoned on the platform, a sparrow of sorts, I think, though ornithology is not one of my strong points.
It looked like a confused traveller that had alighted at the wrong stop. More than a little frightened, it glanced around worriedly. The train made ready for departure, and I found myself urging it to wait, that I could longer observe and witness the outcome for this poor unfortunate.
It became apparent that it was severely injured, for it moved not an inch, and the feet of a thousand impatient travellers, unaware, were perilously close.
The train conductor paced backwards, carriage by carriage, purposefully along the platform. I held my breath…he signalled the impending departure, as he walked, backwards, ever backwards, his boots coming down mere millimetres from the bird.
I realised then….like an epiphany, I was witnessing a metaphor for modern life and the victims that fall beneath the cracks. Powerless to alter their destiny….ignored by the masses…and life, hanging by the slenderest of threads.