The angel

I needed a feather but no matter how much I asked everywhere I received the same answer:

`You have enough feathers, why do you need one more?`

I knew I had many feathers: grey, yellow, blue. All my body is covered by them but I needed a feather from the wing of an angel.

If I saw that the birds could not help me, I started asking the people.

`What a noisy titmouse! said a lady who was ironing the clothes with the window open.

She didn`t understand anything from my question. In the next yard a trap for birds was waiting for me. I fell exactly in it. I struggled and cried, but in vain. A plump hand grabbed me tightly and afterwards I was released in a cage, if I can say so. I hit my head of all bars trying to escape. The little boy brought the cage inside the house and knocked it victoriously on the table and cried :

– Maria! I caught a titmouse. Come to see how beautiful it is!`

A little girl with a scarf tied up around her head like a turban came close to me. Her lips were trembling and her eyes were glaring threateningly. I had seen this at some cats who tried to attack me.

` Mihai, how could you do such a thing ? she almost shouted. Set it free immediately!

She tried to set me free pulling the lock.

`It`s useless, the plump hand said. I put it a lock. It is my titmouse, you can`t set it free.`

`You are a foo…she tried to say.

`You want to call me a fool ?

The girl had tears in her eyes. She left with her fists clenched. She came back to me late at night.

I got scared when she came close to the cage. For a few moments I thought it was an angel. The moon beams fell on her white night gown and her face was so pale…She didn`t have the scarf on her head anymore. But she didn`t have hair either. Her head looked like a small moon.

`I am sorry for you` she whispered to me. I wanted to take the key from the cage but my brother barricaded himself in his room.`

She stuck a finger through the bars. Her fingers were almost transparent and cold very cold. She took out her hand quickly when she saw I shivered.

`Mihai put the trap a few days ago, she continued. I prayed to my angel to make all the birds from our yard fly away so that he could not catch any. I thought my prayer was listened.

I startled.

`Angel ? I am looking for an angel!`

The girl pressed her face on the bars of the cage. She had big blue eyes and a small spot on the tip of her nose.

`You speak indeed! She started laughing. Why do you need an angel?`

She looked funny with the traces from bars imprinted on her forehead.

`I don`t need the whole angel` I said. I only need a feather from his wing. I saw once an angel and he was so bright…I could barely look at him. And his wings…if I could only find some fluff. I would put it here on the top of my head and…

I looked down on the head like a full moon of the girl.

`Where is your hair?`

`I am following a treatment because I am sick, she said very quickly as if the words would have been hot. You know I saw once an angel at the church during the Liturgy. He was standing in the altar and he was handsome…

She looked out on the open window through which the chill of the night got in.

`I don`t know where you could find an angel` she sighed. But you can pray to send you a fluff.`

`Now I would pray to take me out of the cage, I can`t bear it anymore. Hey, do you hear me?`

The girl went to the window.

`I hear you` she said as I think the angel hears us too. But it is necessary for us to do something, especially as we can.

`We can?`

She had already opened the entrance door. I heard the shuffle of her soles through the grass from the yard. Then there were some clinks and thuds.

When she came back her face was shining.

`I prayed and I succeeded to damage Mihai`s trap. Other birds won`t fall inside.

`But I am still here…`

Deja deschisese ușa de la intrare. Auzeam foșnetul tălpilor ei prin iarba din curte.

`I solve this too. Mihai has his window open in his room. If I climb on the bench before his window, I can enter. I come back immediately.

I waited tense for a long time. She didn`t come back. I don`t know how long it had passed when all of a sudden the room was filled with a white shining light. My heart started beating hard. An angel was standing before me. He was keeping the girl in his arms.

`Is she fine? I was finally able to ask.

`She had fallen asleep on the bench.

I take her to her room, I heard the answer in my heart.`

The angel went further. When he came back he had his arms empty. I had my bill open out of amazement.

`Do you still want a fluff from my wing? The angel smiled to me.

`I take her to her room` I heard the answer in my heart.

His words were not heard. I felt them warm in my heart.

The next day Maria went to hospital. Mihai let her took me with her. The door of the cage is all the time open, sometimes even the window from the room but I don`t want to leave Maria alone. When she sleeps, I stay near her bed. I touch her forehead with my wing, where it is a small white bright fluff; with every touch, she is healed, little by little. It is my secret and of the angel.

Text and illustration by Veronica Iani


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