Author’s Note: This story is based on a character from my children’s book Elissa the Curious Snail. The book series consists of four books. You can visit Elissa’s page and have the option to purchase the books by clicking the link here.
Jake the Blackbird flew over the house where the curly red-haired girl lived. He hadn’t seen her today, but it was still early, the sun was barely rising. Jake flapped his wings and took off into the air. The houses were smaller, and the air was cooler up here.
Then, just as quickly, he tucked his wings against his body and dove straight down. Faster he flew, and the houses grew bigger, but before hitting the ground, he spread his wings and soared just inches from the grass, landing near the red-haired girl’s fence.
“That felt quite spectacular,” Jake said to himself. He took a couple of hops, because that’s how blackbirds walk, flapped his wings, and took off again.
As he flew, he saw Mr. Squirrel scampering across the neighbor’s lawn. “Most definitely looking for nuts,” Jake said to himself realizing he had not eaten breakfast yet.
He landed behind the fence near the red-haired girl’s house. He knew they grew strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries in the garden. Jake hopped under the fence, because that’s how blackbirds walk, and looked both ways.
He didn’t see anyone around, namely the tabby cat that lived inside the house. Even though he had never met the tabby cat, it was a known fact that tabby cats don’t like blackbirds and would chase them away. “That would most certainly be scary,” Jake said to himself. But for now, he was safe.
Jake flew into the garden and landed near the berry bushes. He took two hops, because that’s how blackbirds walk, to look for raspberries. He would only take them if they were on the ground. He knew the red-haired girl and her mom wouldn’t eat those.
Just then, Jake heard someone open the screen door to the red-haired girl’s house. “Oh my,” Jake said to himself. He swallowed his last bite, flapped his wings, and took off into the air.
He looked down and saw the potentially mean tabby cat walking in the middle of the yard. She was walking toward a purple dot on the lawn… or was it a nut? He couldn’t tell from this height. He didn’t want to be seen by the tabby cat, so he flew to the front of the house.
Jake landed near the side of the house to catch his breath. He took a couple of hops, because that’s how blackbirds walk, and was startled by a voice; it was the potentially mean tabby cat.
“Hello, Mr. Blackbird. Can I ask you a favor?” the tabby cat asked.
She didn’t sound mean. Jake didn’t want to be rude, so he answered. “Most certainly. How can I be of service to you, tabby cat?”
“Do you see that snail over there?” the tabby cat pointed to the purple dot in the yard. It was not a nut.
“Why, yes, I do,” said Jake. But something was wrong. “She looks sad and scared. Do you know why?”
“No,” said the not so mean tabby cat. “I tried to help her, but I scared her. You are smaller; maybe you can help her?”
Jake wasn’t sure what to do. But he had to try; the little snail looked like she needed help. “I shall do my best,” Jake said. He flapped his wings and took off into the air as the not mean at all tabby cat thanked him.
Jake landed on a branch up in the tree. He wanted to think about what he was going to do. He looked around and saw the beautiful view. He looked down at the snail then around again.
“I wonder if the snail is trying to get up here? It is most certainly a beautiful view,” Jake said to himself. “I can definitely help with that.”
Jake flapped his wings and took off into the air. He flew close to the snail; it was most definitely a girl snail. “There is no conceivable way a boy snail would have a pretty shell like that,” Jake said to himself.
The snail saw him and tucked into her shell. Jake landed and heard her say, “Go away Mr. Blackbird. Please don’t hurt me.”
Jake took a couple of hops, because that’s how blackbirds walk. He thought about it and almost flew away. But he really did want to help. He flapped his wings quietly and softly grabbed the purple, not a nut, shell and took off into the air.
“Please put me down, Mr. Blackbird,” the snail said. And Jake did, right on the branch. Then he flew away.
Jake landed in the neighbor’s lawn. He saw the not mean at all tabby cat chasing butterflies in the back yard. Mr. Squirrel was picking up acorns, looking for a place to hide them.
He felt safe and flapped his wings and took off into the air, this time really high. He felt the coolness of the air, but his heart was warm. He had helped the little snail to see the beautiful view.
Originally posted July 10, 2019