Here's a story I've always loved that Ginny wrote a long time ago. Enjoy. --GK
THE PORCELAIN BIRD
Virginia Ann Werner
Miranda toddled down the long hallway to the towering china cabinet and tried once again to open the glass door. She loved staring at all the beautiful treasures and begged her mother everyday to let her play with one of the 'toys' locked away inside. And her mother would always say, “Today, you are too young to handle my special keepsakes. Perhaps tomorrow, dear child.”
There was a dancing ballerina under a glass dome, miniature buildings with lights, and several kinds of small animals, pretty little boxes, ladies in fancy dresses and hats. But the object that attracted special attention from her was a little porcelain bird. It had many beautiful colors swirling and blending around its body, and the wings were delicately trimmed in gold. It was the one thing she wanted to hold the most.
The day finally arrived when her mother opened the china cabinet and allowed her to choose one thing. She picked up the tiny bird and gently caressed it, marveling at the beautiful blend of cool, smooth colors she now possessed in her hands. Miranda named the bird Rainbow for that is what it reminded her of.
All too soon, she had to return the bird to the cabinet, but her mother promised to let her have it again the next day. Soon, she was allowed to take it out all by herself for a short time each day.
Miranda grew more in love with her bird with each passing day and secretly longed for it to be real. She imagined how lovely it would sound if it could only sing to her.
One night Miranda decided to hide Rainbow in her pocket and take him to her room. She put him on her window sill beside her bed and, closing her eyes, made a wish into the night for the bird to come alive. She talked to it coaxingly; but, finally giving up, she climbed into her bed and fell asleep.
During the night, a fairy who had overheard came down out of the sky and, granting Miranda's wish, whispered to the porcelain bird a secret message of life. With a rush and flutter of feathered wings, it sprang from the sill and flew into the night sky. Soaring above the houses and trees, the bird sang in ecstasy at the gift of life and its new found freedom.
The next morning, Miranda awakened earlier than usual remembering that she had not returned the porcelain bird to the china cabinet.
She immediately looked on the window sill and saw that it was gone. Frantically, she searched her room, praying that the little bird wasn't broken.
Suddenly, Miranda heard a most wonderful song coming from the tree outside her window. She looked up and saw a beautiful bird unlike any she had ever seen. It had many different colored feathers and the wings seemed to be shining. It seemed to be singing to her. “Rainbow?” she called out. He flew to her without hesitation and landed on the window sill between her hands. “Oh Rainbow,” Miranda said, lightly petting his feathered head, “my wish has come true. Now you can be my friend forever.”
“My wonderful Miranda,” replied the bird. “I thank you for your wish. Because of it, I have been granted freedom from my life of stone, but only between the hours of midnight and dawn. Now you must hurry and return me to the china cabinet as is your mother's wish. But, each night remember to bring me back to your window sill that I may fly free and sing to you in the night sky, and you shall be my true friend always.”
At once, the bird was again porcelain.
* * *
And so, every night from that day on Miranda secretly removed the bird from the china cabinet with gentle care and carried him to her window sill.
She would try to stay awake, hoping for a chance to see Rainbow breath with life, spread his wings and sing to her once more; but, always, she fell asleep before midnight.
She would waken in the morning hoping to see her feathered friend as she turned to look at the window sill, but there he would be, as always, a little porcelain bird.
Was it possible? Did it really happen? Well, Miranda knew – for each night, she did see Rainbow take flight from her sill, singing his rapturous song. Yes, each night she saw him in her dreams.
Unpublished Work Copyright © 1989 by Virginia Ann Werner and Geoffrey Keith Werner