Chris Andersen 18 Points/1 Three Full Highlights (2/18/2014)

Chris Andersen lay flat on his back. The dirt from the ground in his backyard was dirtying his already grimy shirt. He stared at the sky in wonderment. How had he never noticed before?

Above him were birds. He didn’t know what kind they were, other than “the little ones that sit on power lines in huge clumps”. But their species name wasn’t important. They were majestic. Flitting this way and that, separate but somehow united. Wings defying gravity and becoming airborne. The young Chris watched for hours.
“Chris, honey, you have to return that book now. It’s nearly a month overdue!”

Chris was sitting in his bed, reading for the fifth time “Everything You Could Ever Care to Know About Birds”. He was on the section on parrots. He loved all birds of all sizes and colors, but parrots were his favorite. He loved their vivid colors, their stylish beaks, and their ability of mimicry.


“I’m not done with this one mom. Not yet. Can’t we just never return it? We can say we lost it or something.”

Chris’ mom walked over to her son, snatched the book out of his grasp, and walked out. Tears welled in the 10-year-old boy’s eyes.
Chris stared with awe and the panorama around him. He was standing in the aviary at the Dallas zoo. Around him were birds. Lots of birds. Birds of all shapes and sizes and colors. Just out of arm’s reach was a glorious bright green parrot, its head turning this way and that. He smiled broadly and turned to his less-interested mother.

“I know what I want to be when I grow up.”

“Let me guess. An aviarist?”

“No. I want to be a bird.”

His mother rolled her eyes. “That’s silly, Chris. You’re already a human. There’s no way you can be a bird. It’s just not happening, darling.”

Chris turned back to the parrot, which was now preening itself. “You’ll see. When I grow up, I will sprout wings, and I will take to the air with my brethren. The majesty of my ascent will be matched only by the vividness of my colors. And if I may not be technically called a bird, I will be called the next best thing: a Birdman.”

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