I watched with wide eyes and an open mind, at first I wasn’t sure if it was a camel or a dinosaur, but as my husband John and I approached it and my eyes came across a strange bird. My mind drew back to a time when I was young, little me at about nine years old, sitting in the middle of a British meadow staring up into the sky, counting one by one the unusual birds swirling around the sun, how times where simpler. I saw John hold his rifle up, pointing it at the strange bird, I was drawn back into my childhood as I yelled “No!” I shamefully looked at John to see ripped up pants and an old shirt, I know that the Depression had taken away almost everything we owned and we needed meat for food and to sell, but I just couldn’t watch John kill an animal. I explained to him in rational words that this bird had something unique to it, something I needed to find out before he killed it. “Fine, go ahead and take away your own food, I’ll just have to find something else to shoot.” John seemed aggravated with me and why shouldn’t he be, I took away a useful piece of meat from him. “Just while I go to find out information on this bird, keep an eye out for it and make sure nobody knows about it.” I instructed John.
I took a long walk into the town of Queenstown, I was greeted by flakey green dusting crumbling out of the forest trees bordering the city and a mob of hungry and stressed people who had recently lost their jobs, I thought about what the New Zealand depression of the thirties had done to one of New Zealand’s most developed and proper cities. But I had no time to think about it, my one and only concern was to get to the town library and find information on that bird. I used to love coming to the library, and it still had that quiet and nice feel to it, my old friend George who still worked in the library greeted me with his friendly smile. “Good to see you Anna, haven’t seen you and John around lately, how are things going for the two of you?” It was like George to always ask a thoughtful question. I smiled, “We’re fine, John has been busy looking for work since his shoe factory went out of business, but I came here to find a book on birds.” George pointed me to an isle filled with books on animals and I felt like my old self, lost in the enjoyable world of books. I quickly found a large book on different types of books and anxiously tried to find the bird we had seen, it wasn’t easy considering I wasn’t even 100% sure it was a bird and I didn’t know its name, but after flipping through about half of the book I found an a bird almost identical to the one I saw that was called a Moa, the only thing was, the book said this bird has been extinct for years! I looked up at the big clock on the wall and realized how late it was getting, I rushed out of the library without closing my book and putting it back or saying goodbye to George, but I had to tell John about this bird.
I was quietly scattering my way home as the idea suddenly came across to me, John originally wanted to sell the bird, meaning that if I told him it is thought to be extinct, there is a higher chance that he will want to sell it because of it’s probable price. “Anna!” John came running up to me with the most excited look on his face. “I caught the prettiest bird, we can sell it for some good money.” I couldn’t hold it in so I blurted it out. “The bird is called a Moa bird and it is thought to be extinct, but I need you to not kill it.” His mouth looked as if someone had pulled his lips apart with a stretcher. “It’s all right I wont sell it.” He said as he suspiciously pulled his mouth shut and snagged a normal, not upset look. I was quite surprised, yet still suspicious, I definitely thought that he would tell me that he needed to sell it, I decided to keep my eye on John to make sure that my suspicions aren’t true and that he wont do anything harmful or cruel to the Moa. John proudly showed me the endless amount of birds he had caught while I was in the town, and just to my surprise, he asked me a mouthful of questions about the Moa bird. I was happy to find the bird unharmed and safe near a pond, I was visualizing the picture in the book and thought about how absolutely incredible it is that this bird has lives while everyone else in this world thought t wasn’t.
Several days had passed and nobody had came to pick up the Moa and John didn’t do anything cruel or harmful to it, lowering my suspicions, yet not making them evaporate completely. At about an hour or two after sunset, John and I were laying down on a bed of leaves and moss next to the pond, but for some odd reason I count fall asleep, after about another hour of just lying there, John got up and started walking out of the woods. I was suddenly curious as to if my suspicions were right so I decided to follow him, as I was coming up upon the edge of the woods, I saw George standing, looking as smug as ever, and waiting for John as he approached. I overheard a little bit of there conversation, John was describing the Moa to George and using some facts that I told him about it. “Well I’ll be back tomorrow in the late afternoon to pick the dead bird up.” Looks like John is selling the Moa bird to George in order to make some money, but it made no sense considering what a sweet person George came across as. “I’ll send Anna out to sell one of my other birds, she sure is a handful.” I gasped in disgust, not to my advantage the two heard me and started jogging after me, I ran as quickly as I could until I tripped into the lake and was a wet monster. The two helped me up and explained themselves, “It doesn’t matter at this point, I will protect that bird with my life and if you do anything to harm it I will leave you here, by yourself.”
The following day I expected John to try and get rid of me so he could sell the Moa bird anyway, but to my surprise and shock he didn’t, even though it was still rather early in the day, I was still mad at him but in my own way I decided to forgive him and move on as long as he didn’t try to kill the bird. John and I were nibbling on some squirrel John put over the fire for lunch when he asked me why it was so important he didn’t kill the bird, “I think I’ve told you before when I was little I loved birds and ever since I saw the Moa, it reminded me of my childhood and I didn’t want to harm it.” Our peace was disrupted by a loud gunshot, I looked over at John only to see the guilt in his face, we both got up and ran towards where we heard the noise, I was disturbed to see the brilliant Moa on the floor in a soppy puddle of blood, and George standing close with a riffle and an awful look on his face. I turned around and looked at John and as soon as I knew he was in on this trick, I slapped him hard across the face.
John looked not only hurt but sorry, which made me the most regretful of deciding to hit him, but I couldn’t believe the man I had trusted and loved for many years had lied to me twice in a row about the same topic. Right as soon as my hand hit his face it came back up to my face as a felt horrified with my actions and what I had just done to somebody I had loved for eight years. I looked down at the magnificent, eight-foot tall, and golden-fluffy bird with red blood pouring out of it.
“I admit I was a complete fool to go behind your back and arrange to have the bird murdered, but I never expected you to be an even bigger fool and to hit me, with no respect whatsoever Anna.” John taunted his head. I was displeased with the statement he had just made.
“So you’re telling me that I’m not aloud to hit you because you’re male?” I barked angrily.
I stormed out from the leafy green world holding me captive of living under the rule of a liar and a sexist.