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by Alex J. Alex
Description: From a sniper in the jungle, a snake in the desert, and three shady characters involved in a very unusual execution, to witches in New England, an old fisherman, and both sides of the tragic war of attrition on the Emerald Isle, Alex gives us love stories, tragedies, war stories, and humorous touches in everything from very short to long. Enjoy reading them, but keep the nightlight on!
eBook Publisher: eXtasy eBooks, 2009 eXtasy Books
eBookwise Release Date: September 2009
3 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [245 KB]
Reading time: 158-222 min.
The Old Man and the Hoopoe Bird
The old man watched the hoopoe bird as it walked around the rim of the well. It was late in the afternoon and the reddish sun cast long shadows in the square. The silly looking bird hopped and then bobbed its head back and forth, its long beak seeming to pierce the thick, humid air.
The dusty town was home to a number of the silly birds, and late afternoon was a good time for old men to sit and watch them. The birds could always be counted on to act in the same way every day--unless outsiders approached. Then they were better than watch dogs.
It was good to have the hoopoe birds around to warn about outsiders. The walls of the town were already riddled with bullets. Half of the people who used to live in the town were dead now--killed by one side or the other in the last few years of fighting.
The old man watched the hoopoe bird. It continued to walk around the well, bobbing its head. He looked at the reddening sunset across the dusty barren desert. There would be bad weather coming, but as long as these silly birds didn't flinch, no one would be killed. Even the old woman's cat seemed to know enough to leave the birds alone. The old tomcat chased mice and rodents, but left the birds alone.
The old man sipped his evening grappa and pulled on his pipe, leaning his gnarled cane against the wall. The hoopoe bird suddenly jumped off the rim of the well and skittered out of the square. The old woman's cat watched mournfully as blood gushed from the bullet hole in the old man's head. He remained sitting in his chair with a surprised expression on his face. His false teeth had fallen on the ground at his feet. He never even heard the sound of the rifle.