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The one-legged bird

April 18, 2012

Look carefully—all city birds are not as generic as they may appear. Sometimes, you can spot one hobbling on a stump, limping as it pecks at crumbs on the sidewalk. Once, I saw one balanced on a lone stem so slight it seemed impossible it managed to keep from toppling.

Perhaps many birds lose a leg, a claw—perhaps both. We never see the ones that can’t adapt to disability—they disappear behind trash bins, in alleys.

But the strong ones learn new skills. The one-legged bird needs to know how to land safely every once in awhile.

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