The Bluebird and the Glorystone

Gary Grenier

Copyright, 2002
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Becky was sitting on the bench, tears streaking down her cheeks, ever so gently holding the baby bluebird. There was a damp breeze, the sky was dreary with heavy cloud cover, and it was very cool. All the residents of the park must have sensed the sadness in Beckyís heart, because it was morbidly quiet.

Becky could feel the little chick hopping around in her loose grip, with its left wing stuck out straight, seemingly locked in that unnatural position. The infant bluebird was trembling and shaking; scared, cold, and probably in a state of shock.

Becky was on her way to watch the kids play Jacks and Hopscotch by the tennis courts, when she spotted the little creature hopping near a trash can in the garden trail rest area. It was scampering frantically, but falling on its left side every few hops. The birdís left wing was sticking straight out, its oversize beak was wide open, and its eyes were bulging with fear.

Becky had some trouble getting down to retrieve the baby bird, laying her aluminum crutches on the bench, and adjusting her braces so they would flex enough for her to kneel and retrieve the panicked bird. The sadness Becky felt for the injured bluebird was compounded by the fact that she had no idea what to do with the animal. But at least she could protect the infant from cats and other predators that frequented the park.

Becky carefully tucked her skirt around the chick to contain him while she straightened and locked her knee braces back into place. She was sure someone would pass by that could help her, or give advice on what to do with the helpless bluebird. She just hoped they would arrive before the ever-darkening clouds let loose with a soaking rain, sleet, or snow. The low clouds were moving faster now, the treetops were starting to sway and bend in a very cold breeze.

Just as Becky had used her crutches as a prop to get to her feet, she thought she heard a noise. Nobody was coming down the trail in either direction, and there was nothing but lilac bushes behind her. Glancing around, Becky let out a high pitched yelp as she spotted a very young boy sitting on the only other bench at this rest area. She was sure that he had not been there a moment ago, but there he was, deep in thought, rubbing a stone or a pebble.

"Excuse me, could I get your assistance please?" Becky politely asked. "I wonder if you could help me with a baby bluebird that appears to be injured."

The lad slowly raised his head and gave Becky a comforting smile. "I donít knows much bout no sick birds, I just passing through."

The boy was only about six years old and his face was almost as dirty as his clothes. He had shiny ebony skin, like Jamaican people can have, his litter-strewn and matted hair was almost three inches thick. He had a T-shirt that may have been white at one time, he wore soiled bib overhauls, and he had no socks or shoes. The lad was quietly rubbing his stone, repeating the word "Glory."

"Oh, I was hoping you lived around here or might know of someone that could help mend or shelter this poor creature. I suppose I could carry the bird home and see if my folks could take it to a veterinarian.

"I do not want to be rude, but you look like you could use some sheltering also. Are you staying with someone in the area? If you care to follow me, we could get some lunch and my mother could probably come up with something to cover your feet."

"My feets fine. I gives you my Glorystone for dat bird." Said the lad.

"I donít want to trade anything for this bird, he needs medical help. I was just trying to be considerate when I asked you to have lunch with me."

"You ever touch a Glorystone?" Asked the grinning lad. "I worked a lot of days to get dis rock! It was worth every minute of dat work too."

Becky had a bad feeling about this conversation. She felt that it would be wise to move along. "I never touched a Glory rock, and maybe next time I will be able to feel it. I better get this injured baby bird home so we can take it for medical attention. It was nice talking with you."

The boy still had a warm smile and a joyful gleam in his eye. "I would like to see dat bird, will you hold my Glorystone?

"I should have been home an hour ago, I donít want to upset my parents, I better get on my way. Have a nice day." Becky slid the bird into her coat, put her arms through the crutch cups, and started moving away from the bench.

The boy held the Glorystone up in front of his face, and in a slow but firm voice he said; "Wait girl, its time for some faith! Many folk passes by diamonds in de rough, nevír knowing the treasure dey passed up. Dis bluebird is just such a gem. You wants everything to be made just right donít you? Let me see what I can do. Donít be afraid, dis wonít hurt at all, holds on to my stone and weĎll see what glory awaits us."

Becky was very nervous, but she halted, retrieved the bird, and held it out in both hands in the direction of the boy. "Be careful, heís so tiny."

The lad approached with his right hand extended, holding his Glorystone. It was dark green with swirls of white, black, and pink running through it. It was the size of an egg, smooth, and very shiny. It seemed warmer than body temperature in Beckyís hand.

Becky could not take her eyes off the stone, it seemed to emit a sense of well-being. She could only think about her most treasured memories; her huge orange cat, her grandmother and the special cookies she baked for Becky, and her familyís joy on Christmas morning. The stone was getting warmer all the time.

Mysteriously, the stone seemed to wiggle. Becky slowly uncupped her hands, and to her amazement, she was holding the bluebird. The little creature had its beak wide open, it was making a peeping sound, and its wing was perched back along its body. Both wings flapped out and back in short strokes as the bird tried to walk on Beckyís soft hands.

Becky was overjoyed, "You fixed him, you cured the wing, how did youÖ" Suddenly, Becky realized she was alone, talking to nobody. She looked around in amazement; there was no sign of the little boy. The Glorystone that she had been holding was gone as well. There seemed to be no sign of the boysí footprints, but there was a song in the air. A pair of bluebirds was perched in the low lilac branches, looking and singing in Beckyís direction. A smiling Becky sat the baby bird in the grass in front of the lilacs, and quietly moved away.

Beckyís mind was trying to comprehend the morningsí events, finally deciding that there was no logical explanation, and she was happy to just accept the outcome without question. She had never been so calm, so much at peace with her life. She felt the earth was indeed a wonderful place.

The wind was strong and the temperature was dropping. As oak leaves skittered across the trail, Becky thought she saw something pink tumbling along the path. As she approached, she saw a beautiful lace handkerchief flitting in the breeze. The material was expensive, the lacing superb, with "GS" embroidered in lavender.

As Becky continued towards home, she noticed an elderly lady dressed in an expensive outfit, stooping along the trail. She was searching under the shrubs and bushes for something. Becky made her way up to the lady and said; "Are you looking for this?"

The older woman broke out into a huge smile and politely bowed to Becky, "My dear, you can not possibly know what great joy you have brought to me, finding my heirloom handkerchief. This belonged to my grandmother and mother, I wanted so much to pass it on to my daughter. For a while, I feared it was lost forever, how can I ever thank you?"

Becky told the lady the hanky was flitting down the path, she had only done what anyone would do, and she was very happy to return the prized possession to its rightful owner.

The lady was dressed in fine apparel, she wore an expensive looking brooch, and had very fancy bejeweled rings on both hands. She tucked the hanky into her purse and then reached in deeper, to retrieved a coin purse.

"I insist that you accept a little token of my appreciation, and I will not take no for an answer. Let me see if we have something special in here. Ah yes, I think this will do"

Becky could hear the rattling of coins clinking in the purse as she said; "Madam, I really donít want anything for doing a simple act of honesty. I need to be heading home, Iím late as usual."

Becky gave the woman a smile, and was about to swing her legs forward when she spotted the green stone displayed just above the coin purse. The stone almost glowed, the lady had a warm smile as she said in a near whisper; "Wait my dear! Itís time for a little faith! Many people pass by diamonds in the rough, never recognizing the treasure they overlooked. You are just such a jewel. We want everything to be made just right, donít we? Let me see what I can do to ease your burden. Donít be afraid, this wonít hurt at all. Hold my stone and we will see what glory awaits us."

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