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Short Stories for Children of all Ages: Flying HomeFlying home


Felix is a blue and yellow bird from Brazil. He lives with the Baxter family in New
York. His home is a big cage. It is on the fortieth floor of a tall building.
Felix likes the Baxters, and the Baxters like him. They give him food. They talk to
him and show him to all their friends. But Felix is not happy. He wants to go home
to Brazil.
Every night Felix looks up at the sky. He can see the whole city. It is big and exciting.
It is home for the Baxters, but not for Felix. He remembers the big, yellow moon in
Brazil. Then he remembers his last day in the jungle. The two men with white hats.
The big box. The long plane journey. The shop –“Beautiful Birds” – in New York.
Felix closes his eyes. Now he cannot see the city and the snow. He can see other
things; he can see the life he loves.
“I want to be with my family again,” he thinks. “I want to fly home to the jungle. It’s
warm there and the trees are always green.” He puts his head under one wing.
“One day,” he says. “One day.”
“One day” comes two weeks later. Mr Baxter opens Felix’s cage to give him some
food. Then he hears the telephone. “Can you answer that, George?” asks Mrs Baxter.
“I’m in the bath.”
“OK,” says Mr Baxter. He goes to the phone, but forgets to shut Felix’s cage. Felix
can see an open window. “This is it!” he thinks.
He flies out of his cage and out of the window. The air under his wings is very cold.
Behind him he hears, “Hey! Felix!!” but he does not go back. He looks down at the
streets and buildings and flies through the city.
A girl in a café with her mother sees him.
“Look!” she says. Her mother does not hear. She is reading her newspaper.
After an hour Felix stops. He stands on the head of the Statue of Liberty.
“Where are you from?” asks a small, grey and white bird besides him. “I’m from
Brazil,” answers Felix. “And where are you going?” asks the bird. Felix flies up into
the cold, blue sky again. “I’m going home,” he says. “Goodbye.”
Felix flies south. Soon he cannot see New York. All he can see is the Atlantic Ocean.
In the evening the sun starts to go down. Then the sky is red, yellow and blue. It is
very beautiful.
Felix is hungry, but he is happy, too.
For the first time in two years he is free. He wants to fly all night.
Two hours later it starts to rain. Now the sky is black. Soon, Felix cannot see the
moon or the stars.
“Where am I?” he thinks. He remembers his warm cage. “Am I doing the right
thing?”
He looks down at the cold sea. Then he sees something. Is it a star in the black water?
No, it cannot be a star. He looks again. It is a ship!
Felix flies down to the ship. There are hundreds of fish on it. He eats twenty in five
minutes, then he sleeps.
In the morning a man on the ship sees him. “Oh no!” thinks Felix, but it is all right.
The man only wants to take a photograph of him. Felix flies into the sky again.
“Good,” he thinks. “It’s not raining now, and I’m not hungry.”
Two days later Felix flies across Peru. He looks down and sees the Inca city of Machu
Picchu. “Those old stone buildings look interesting,” he thinks. “I know – I can stop
there tonight.”
Felix starts to fly down to the buildings. Then he sees a big bird with beautiful black
and white feathers. It is sitting on a stone.
“Hello, you’re not from Peru, are you?” says the bird.
Felix tells his story.
“Two years in a cage in New York?!” says the bird.
“Yes,” answers Felix, “but now I’m going home. Can you tell me how to get there?”
“I have a friend – Aca – in Rio,” says the bird. “He knows the jungle. Go there and
ask him.”
Felix flies from Peru to Rio. There he sees a lot of people in the street. He can hear
music and see some birds in a tree. Is one of them Aca?
“Aca! Aca!” he says. “Yes, that’s me,” answers one of the birds. Felix cannot see him.
Then a boy sees Felix. “Look at the bird,” he says to his father. “Can I have him? Can
I? Please?”
At first Felix does not see the boy or his father. He is looking at all the birds in the
trees.
“Aca! Aca!” says Felix. Then there is a warm hand on his neck. He fights with his
wings and his feet. “Help! Help!” Aca helps him.
“Aiiieee!!!” says the man. The two birds fly into the sky.
“Thank you,” says Felix. Then he tells Aca his story.
Felix and Aca fly from Rio to the jungle. In the evening Felix says, “Yes, I remember
that village. My home’s very near here. It’s only...” Then he stops. In front of them
there are a lot of men and machines.
“Oh no, they’re making a new road!” says Aca.
“But... where’s my home?” asks Felix. “And where’s my family?”
The two birds fly over the new road. Then they stop in a tree near the village. Felix
is tired and sad. “I’m sorry,” says Aca. Then Felix sees a small blue and yellow feather
in the air. He looks up. There, above the trees, are four birds. “It’s them, Aca!” he
says. “It's my family!”
Then he flies into the sky. The birds see him. “Felix, is
it you?” they ask. “Yes,” answers Felix. “I’m home!!!”


Stephen Rabley
Flying home
Harlow, Pearson Education Limited, 1998

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