The Pelican

Part One

Life is very boring. I perform all the same tasks on the farm every day. I feed the animals, water them, check the fences and so on and so forth. I am young. I would like to do something different with my life. We do not have enough money to allow me to travel or to study anything that interests me. I have to be here, day in day out to provide for the family. I do not want to be a farmer. I do not find pleasure in suffering when there is a drought. I don’t like to kill animals that I can’t feed, or when there is a fire and we lose half of our sheep, or when the part of the land that is cultivated is flooded and we lose every single plant.

One day, after my daily tasks, I went to the pond – that miraculously had some water still – where the trees form a refuge against the wind and the harsh summer sun. There is a clearing and it looks like an enchanted corner of some far away land. I was thinking that I have to find a project to perform, as a way to distract me from the hard work. And I was looking at the geese swimming and waddling near the water. Their raucous noises made me look towards the water. The breeze was light and the sun gentle. I loved it there. Suddenly, the flapping of wings made me look towards the sky. This big animal is a pelican. What is it doing here so far from the beach? We are in-land. It was huge, with its wings spread wide, and so white and beautiful. It stopped its flight near the tall grasses in the water. It began to make different noises, like coughing. I thought it might be sick. Maybe that is why it landed.

I went closer. The coughing continued and the animal opened his big, long beak and spat something out in the grass. I went closer. It was a baby. I took the baby from the grass and the bird looked me in the eye, and I knew that it was me – only me – the one that had to take care of this baby.

Malina calls me dad. I have a reason to live. She loves me and trusts me, and I love her and protect her. I know one day she will have to go. I do not where, as I do not know where she came from, but I know that she saved my life, giving me a goal and happiness. Ah, I forgot: because I had to educate little Malina, I studied many subjects in order to transfer this knowledge to her. I am a respected writer now, and a good dad.

I.

Link to part two.

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