Visit of the White Bird
Sally stared in amazement at the bedroom window.
She was certain that it had been closed when she had come into the room, but now the window was wide open and the curtain swayed in a gentle breeze.
Suddenly a small white bird flew onto the windowsill and fluffed out its feathers. It grew and grew in size as Sally watched, until it became even bigger than the seagulls she had seen on the beach with Archie. It was shimmering white in colour with a large golden crest on its head, having large bright eyes that seem to be lit by an inner glow.
Then this beautiful white bird flew down onto the bed. Sally also backed up to the bed, climbed on it then sat upright against the wall, putting her hands up to her face in fright.
Sally screamed, but she was so frightened no sound came out just a long gasp of air. She was still holding the stone when the bird suddenly hopped forward until its beak was touching her hand.
Sally screamed again, and this time in fear and this time the noise did come out. She tried to pull her had away, but she found that she could not move it. However the bird did not peck her with its fearsome looking beak, but gently tapped it on the stone.
At once the stone began to throb in her hand and it became very warm. She also found that she could now move her arm again.
Sally opened her hand fully and the bird lowered its head and gently rubbed the stone with the crest feathers on its head. It was almost as if it was talking very quietly to the stone.
The eye in the stone opened wide and grew much larger than Sally had ever seen it before. As she watched spell bound, the eye seemed to come alive with an Inner Light. The feeling of fright she had suddenly disappeared and she felt completely at ease with the strange situation.
Then the bird gently took Sally’s little finger in its beak. It did not hurt her, but with a firm pressure on her finger the bird backed away down the bed gently pulling her forward. Sally realised that the bird was trying to pull her up off the bed, so she swung her legs over and sat on the edge with the bird still holding her finger.
The bird then let go of her finger and nodded its head to Sally before flying to the windowsill where it landed and then looked back to her. Again it nodded its head, seeming to indicate to Sally that it wanted her to cross over to the window and look out.
This Sally did, as she was no longer feeling frightened. Looking outside she saw that it was now almost completely dark, but as the garden was bathed in moonlight, she could make out the shape of most objects.
The bird hopped onto the windowsill outside the room and, again to Sally’s amazement, stood on one leg while it pointed the other one down the garden.
The stone in Sally’s hand suddenly became even warmer and, to her astonishment, found that her hand moved on its own accord as if the stone was pulling it, until her arm was outstretched and was pointing down the garden.
At once the bird flew up and landed on her arm, gently rubbed its head against her skin as if to say everything was fine, but it wanted her to follow it out in the garden.
Sally asked, “Do you want me to follow you out into the garden?” The bird nodded its head as if to say yes to her.
When she looked at the stone it winked at her twice, so it seemed to Sally that it also agreed that she should go outside with the strange but beautiful bird.
Sally said out loud, “I will get dressed and come down into the garden at once.”
The bird flew out the window and perched on a branch of a tree near the back door. Sally quickly got dressed and slipped out onto the landing outside her bedroom door taking the stone with her. She moved to the stairs and crept down to the second floor and along to Archie’s bedroom where she softly knocked on the door. It took several more quiet knocks before Archie opened the door in his pyjamas with his red air messed up and having a very sleepy look on his face.
Sally put her finger to her lips to make sure Archie keep quiet; he beckoned her into his bedroom gently closing the door behind him.
Sally quickly explained to Archie what had happened.
“A white bird that grew and grew before it pointed at the garden for you to follow it” laughed Archie. “You must have been dreaming.”
“Honestly that is what happened. How do you think the stone also knew what the bird wanted?”
As Sally showed him her stone it suddenly shot up from her hand into the air, it flew around the room then landed on the dressing table.
“Gosh!” cried Archie as his mouth fell open and his eyes shot open wide. Both children watched in amazement as the stone then banged itself against the top drawer of the dressing table as if it was knocking to be let in.
“My stone is hidden in that drawer,” said Archie. “How on earth did it know that it was in there?”
When he opened it, his stones also flew out and landed beside Sally’s stone that had now returned to the top of the dressing table. As they looked at the two stone lying side by side, the two eyes opened together and looked back at the two children.
“Well I am going out in the garden even if you are too scared to come with me,” said Sally in a huff.
“I am not scared and there is no way I am letting you wander around in the dark without me,” Archie replied, sounding far braver than he felt.
Sally picked up her stone and started towards the door. Archie whispered that he would get dressed and catch her up outside.
Sally crept though the house on tiptoe until she reached the back door in the kitchen; she gently slid back the bolts, opened the door and stepped out into the moonlight.
Sally waited on the moon lit doorstep until the door reopened and Archie joined her holding his stone in his hand.
As they looked down the garden towards the tree, the white bird flew up to them, turned in a circle before slowly flying down the path towards the gate. The two children followed the white bird through the gate and out into the lane.
“Gosh Sally you are right. That is a very strange bird, I have never seen anything like that before,” said Archie in a very puzzled voice. “One thing though it does not look anything like a sea witch.”
The lane was quite narrow and the banks quite high on either side, so it was very dark with no moonlight disturbing the deep shadows.
Without warning the two stones in the children’s hands started to throb. A beam of light shone out from the stones just like a torch enabling them to see clearly where they were going.
The white bird stayed in the light provided by the stones with its white feathers giving off a glow. It was almost as if the bird had its own light source.
“If we did tell anyone about this they would never believe us. They would be sure that we have both gone raving mad,” said Archie, and Sally agreed.
They walked quickly down the dark lane until they came to a small path cut into the bank with a gap in the hedge leading into a field. The field was on the side of the lane facing the sea and the children followed the bird until they reached the hedge on the other side of the field.
Again there was a small gap in the hedge and they squeezed through and found themselves almost at the cliff edge overlooking the sea.
The bird flew over the edge of the cliff and swooped down onto a large rock below.
Archie said to Sally, “Lie down carefully and crawl forward on your tummy so that you can see over the cliff edge without falling.”
Then Archie did the same and they looked down together at the waves breaking over the rocks far below.
As they looked the light from the stones became even brighter and they could clearly see the white bird on the rock.
Once again as it had done in Sally’s bedroom it stood on one leg and pointed back towards the cliff with the other.
“Let’s see if we can get a little more light down there,” said Archie.
They shone the stones light down the cliff face and they could just make out an entrance to a small cave almost hidden in the rocks.
“Wow” said Archie; “I have never seen any cave along this part of the cliffs when we have fished for crabs off these rocks many times.” He went on to say, “I am quite sure that even dad did not know about the cave, or he would have told me it was there.”
“I am sure the bird wants us to go into the cave,” said Sally.
“Well it is alright for the bird, it can fly down. There is no way we can climb down the cliff it is too steep and far too dangerous,” explained Archie.
He said the only way was to attempt to get a boat into the edge of the rocks below, then try and climb up to the entrance of the cave, but this would also be very difficult to do.
Sally asked, “Can you persuade your dad to bring us to this spot in the morning using their boat?”
Archie almost choked laughing.
“You must be joking! Can you imagine how it would sound when we explain to my dad we want to follow a white bird that is working closely with two stones that can fly and have eyelids that open?”
They had crawled back to the hedge and were sitting on the grass when the white bird flew back and landed in front of them.
As they talked about the best plan to get down to the cave the eyes of both stones and the bird watched them and it was if they were listening to what was being said.
Finally, they agreed they would go back home and wait for daylight. Then they would try and get Mad Jack and Jane to help them.
When this was agreed, the two stones winked at them, the white bird nodded its head and they all started back across the field to the lane and home.
Sally and Archie made their way back to the guesthouse quietly discussing the cave and the considerable problems they faced getting into it. The white bird hovered in the air above them and was listening to their discussions as they walked up the dark lane with the two stones continuing to provide their beams of light.
When they got back to the back door the white bird nodded its head several times and then, flew away down the garden towards the sea.
The two stones became still and cold again with their light vanishing, so the children crept back to their bedrooms and both quickly snuggled down in their beds, and surprisingly, both fell into a very deep dreamless asleep almost at once.